Boro chase nap hand and double over Lions

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
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MiDDLESBROUGH are seeking several milestones and they certainly will not be short of backing from several Yorkshire rivals.

Aitor Karanka’s Teessiders, who welcome back Kenneth Omeruo from suspension, are aiming to record a fifth consecutive league victory for the first time since November, 2012 at home to relegation-haunted Millwall, which sees Scott McDonald and Nicky Bailey return to the Riverside Stadium.

A win will also see Boro surpass their points tally for the whole of last term with three games to go and also enable them to break through the 60-point barrier, which looked some way off in mid-autumn.

If Boro do that and go on to win their final three matches, they will equal their best tally since returning to the second tier in 2008-09 of 70 points, which was achieved in 2011-12.

Boro’s win at the New Den just before Christmas, thanks to goals from Emmanuel Ledesma and Albert Adomah, marked a turning point in the campaign under Basque head coach Karanka after a desperately disappointing opening third under his predecessor Tony Mowbray.

While they have plenty of reasons to clinch a first double over the Lions since Jack Charlton’s Division Two promotion class of 1973-74, so the likes of Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers, who are battling to avoid the drop, will also be willing them on in their efforts today.

The second part of Boro’s Easter programme comes at Reading’s Madejski Stadium on Tuesday.

Ben Gibson sits out his final game of a two-match ban but Mustapha Carayol and Rhys Williams are out for the rest of the season.

Last six games: Middlesbrough LDWWWW; Millwall LLDWWD.

Last time: Middlesbrough 1 Millwall 2; February 23, 2013; Championship.

Referee: D Bond (Lancs).