The Lowdown: Northeast clash
It is a battle of two clubs from the northeast at the Riverside Stadium, from where Tony Mowbray’s team will be hoping to come away with all three points.
A win for the visitors would take them into the play-off places in the table, and even though it is still early days, the signs are promising in their first season back after winning promotion from League One.
The Latest: Clarke fit
As per Sunderland’s official website, Jack Clarke is now ‘expected to be fine’ for the match, despite a ‘precautionary withdrawal’ last time out against Rotherham United.
He suffered a ‘calf knock’ late on in Wednesday’s win over the Millers, but it looks as if the winger has recovered in time to play against Middlesbrough.
The Verdict: Boost for Sunderland
It is certainly a boost for Mowbray and Sunderland to see Clarke fit and ready to play after picking up a knock last time out.
The 21-year-old currently ranks as the Wearside club’s second-best performer in the Championship so far this season, with two goals, three assists and two man-of-the-match awards to his name (WhoScored).
Should Sunderland start Clarke?
Therefore, the Black Cats will surely feel as if they have a better chance of winning with Clarke in the team than without him.
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