Middlesbrough to be Friend-less for clash with Hull

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Middlesbrough will have to continue to cope without influential defender George Friend as they look to boost their Championship play-off push.

Middlesbrough will have to continue to cope without influential defender George Friend as they look to boost their Championship play-off push.

Friend missed the midweek win over Bolton with a groin injury and has now been told he will have to sit out the remainder of the season.

Boss Tony Pulis is likely to stick with the same side that snapped a six-game losing streak with their midweek win over Bolton.

Stewart Downing is an option to replace Mohamed Besic at left-back, while Lewis Wing remains sidelined after a hernia operation.

Hull boss Nigel Adkins could name an unchanged side for the Tigers’ crucial clash.

The visitors can leapfrog their opponents with a victory and Adkins does not expect any new absentees as the fight for a top-six place heats up.

Defenders Reece Burke and Jordy De Wijs are both expected to shrug off minor back injuries they sustained in the midweek win over Wigan.

Left-back Stephen Kingsley is not expected to be risked following his recent groin injury while centre-back Angus MacDonald (calf) is the only long-term absentee.

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