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Man United v Middlesbrough team news, ref info, pundit predictions and likely XIs

Manchester United will end 2016 just one point off the Premier League’s top four if they beat Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve.

The form book and United’s head-to-head record against Boro both suggest a home win is on the cards.

However, Boro – who will have ex-United goalkeeper Victor Valdes at one end and former Man City striker Alvaro Negredo at the other – could spring a surprise, as they did when they held Arsenal to a draw at the Emirates Stadium in October.

Boro also knocked United out of the League Cup last season.

Form
United: DDWWWW
Boro: DWLLWL

All-time Premier League head-to-head
16 United wins
5 Boro wins
7 draws

Referee

Referee Lee Mason

Lee Mason will be the man in charge at Old Trafford. It’s his first United game since this fixture in last season’s League Cup, when Boro beat the Red Devils on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Mr Mason has reffed Boro twice since then – in their 3-1 defeat to Everton in September and November’s 2-2 draw at Leicester.

In nine Premier League games this season, Mason has dished out 34 yellow cards and one red.

Team news

Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho

United manager Jose Mourinho told his club’s official website on the eve of this game that captain Wayne Rooney is still sidelined with a thigh injury.

Mourinho also said that Luke Shaw will not start, despite recently returning to full training.

Boro will be without Antonio Barragan, who serves a one-game ban, and Viktor Fischer, who has a knee injury that is expected to keep him out until the middle of January.

Likely Man United starting XI
De Gea
Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Darmian
Herrera, Carrick
Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Lingard
Ibrahimovic

Likely Middlesbrough starting XI
Valdes
Nsue, Chambers, Gibson, Friend
Traore, Roon, Clayton, Forshaw, Ramirez
Negredo

Expert predictions
Paul Merson (Sky Sports): 3-0 to United
Mark Lawrenson (BBC Sport): 2-0 to United
Luke Edwards (The Telegraph) 1-0 to United

More Stories Antonio Barragan jose mourinho Lee Mason Luke Shaw Viktor Fischer wayne rooney