Chris Hughton has been forced into a change at the center of Necastle’s defense with Fitz Hall replacing the injured Mike Williamson.
We have no further news on Williamson’s injury, but we have to hope it’s precautionary with a game at home against Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.
And Hughton has also decided against starting Jose Enrique, who felt a tightness in his hamstring after just 33 minutes last Saturday, and Hungarian defender Tamas Kadar, who turns 20 tomorrow, gets his 7th start at Newcastle.
But Enrique is named among the substitutes along with the returning Wayne Routledge, who is back after his calf injury, but Pancrate will continue on the right wing.
Alan Smith is also absent because of his his ankle injury, and therefore
Danny Guthrie, captain Kevin Nolan and Jonas Gutierrez, along with Fabrice will continue as the midfield four.
As expected Andy Carroll and Peter Lovenkrands are paired up front in attack in a 4-4-2 formation, which is rare for Newcastle away from home.
Fritz Hall has only started 3 games for the Newcastle club, since joining on loan from QPR in January.
But this is what he was brought in for, and we have to hope the lad has a solid game alongside Coloccini at the back today.
It’s a big chance for the 29 year-old Londoner to show what he can do in a Newcastle shirt.
Middlesbrough: Danny Coyne, Kyle Naughton, David Wheater, Stephen McManus, Andrew Taylor, Barry Robson, Gary O’Neil (c), Rhys Williams, Julio Arca, Chris Killen, Scott McDonald
Subs: Brad Jones, Justin Hoyte, Chris Riggott, Leroy Lita, Lee Miller, Joe Bennett, Jonathan Franks
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Fitz Hall, Fabricio Coloccini, Tamas Kadar, Fabrice Pancrate, Kevin Nolan (c), Danny Guthrie, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands
Subs: Tim Krul, Jose Enrique, Wayne Routledge, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Nicky Butt, Nile Ranger
Referee: Lee Mason