Preview: Middlesbrough v Hull City

Middlesbrough will be eager to turn their recent up tick in form into points when they welcome Hull City to the Riverside Stadium in the Premier League on Monday.

The Boro have been much improved in recent weeks but have little to show for it with just one win in their last 11 league games.

However, they have earned credible draws against Manchester City and defending champions Leicester City away from home last month.

"I think for example against Stoke we could have won and against Watford and Crystal Palace we didn't deserve to lose. But the truth is we have 12 points and one day we will not deserve to win and we will win," manager Aitor Karanka said ahead of the match.

"We have to avoid complacency thinking we are playing really well or we are playing at home against Hull who have a lot of injuries.

"We have to forget everything and only think that we have a tough game and an important game, and just focus on us."

Hull are just one point behind their hosts going into the fixture and could move out of the relegation zone if they can pick up a win.

They will also be buoyed by their recent penalty shootout win over Newcastle United to advance to the semi-finals of the League Cup in midweek.

The Tigers are facing somewhat of an injury crisis at the moment, but manage Mike Phelan is confident his squad will be able to cope.

"We have options if Abel [Hernandez] is not ready. I have a good young player in Jarrod Bowen who could play that role," he said.

"I've got [Adama] Diomande, who's a forward. I've got others who can play outside of their normal positions.

"There are things we can do. We could go with no centre-forward. But we'll come up with something between now and Monday."

Dieumerci Mbokani will definitely miss out for Hull as he starts a three-match suspension, while Hernandez and Maloney face late fitness tests. However, there is some good news with Sam Clucas and Ryan Mason both available again.

Middlesbrough will be without George Friend who continues his recovery from a knee injury, but Daniel Ayala could be considered for selection after returning to training following an ankle injury.

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