Guirane N’Daw makes his Ipswich Town debut from the start at Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough v Ipswich: Powerful Senegalese midfielder Guirane N’Daw makes his Ipswich Town debut from the start at Middlesbrough this afternoon.
The 28-year-old arrived on a season-long loan from French side St Etienne two weeks ago but was deemed short of fitness following a limited pre-season.
However, having been an unused substitute in the 2-2 home draw with Huddersfield, the 6ft 3in midfielder caught the eye in a 6-0 ‘Under-21’ win over Cardiff last Friday, with Blues boss Paul Jewell praising him for working ‘exceptionally hard’ in training during the two-week international break.
He will partner Andy Drury in the centre of midfield, with teenage Spurs loanee Massimo Luongo dropping to the bench.
Town’s only other change sees skipper Carlos Edwards – fit again after a hamstring injury – replace Jack Ainsley at right-back. The latter drops to the bench, with Josh Carson the player to lose his place in the 18-man squad.
Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith – the club’s only senior centre-backs – start, with the latter having returned from international duty in New Zealand on Thursday.
Ex-Town skipper Grant Leadbitter and recent Blues target George Friend are in the home line-up.
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Former Reading defender Andre Bikey starts alongside Jonathan Woodgate in the heart of Boro’s back four after being snapped up as a free agent this week.
– Report and reaction to follow.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-3-3): Steele; Hoyte, Woodgate (cpt), Bikey, Friend; Williams, Leadbitter, McEachran; Williams, Miller, Reach.
Subs: Leutwiler, Jutkiewicz, Arca, Carayol, Zemmama, Hines, Ledesma.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Loach; Edwards (cpt), Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; N’Daw, Drury; Taylor, Martin, Murphy; Chopra.
Subs: Lee-Barrett; Ainsley; Hyam, Luongo, Emmanuel-Thomas; Scotland, Murray.
Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)