Will Peterborough United revert to a three centre-back formation now that captain Mark Beevers is back? First-team in action on Tuesday
Beevers has not played since damaging a hamstring in the 2-2 Championship home draw with Cardiff City on August 17.
He came safely through a 45-minute run-out in an in-house practice match last Friday and he will have another 45 minutes in a hastily arranged friendly against Stevenage at the Posh training ground tomorrow (October 12).
Posh were due to play Northampton, but they pulled out. Manager Darren Ferguson intends to play his full first team.
Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony has urged his manager to pick a formation and stick with it.
“The game against Stevenage is a good chance to look at a few things before we go to Middlesbrough,” Ferguson said. “And it’s also good chance to get another 45 minutes into Mark.
“I’m not expecting any problems with him. He seems to have recovered well and it will be great to have him back as we’ve missed his experience and calmness at times.
“Mark also gives us balance as he’s a natural left-footed player. It does make it easier if we wanted to play three at the back.
“I have played too many formations, but that’s been down to circumstances. Ideally I’d have the same partnerships playing every week in different areas of the pitch, but injuries have made that difficult. I’ve changed formation four times in five away games which is too much though.”
Ferguson revealed there are no fresh injury concerns for Posh. Sammie Szmodics and Siriki Dembele are expected to remain up front together at Middlesbrough in the absence of suspended centre forward Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Ferguson will watch the game at the Riverside Stadium from high in the stands as he serves a one-match touchline ban for comments made towards match referee David Coote following a 3-2 home defeat by Bristol City on October 2.