Match preview: Brighton v Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will be hoping to maintain his side's good away form this weekend as they take on Brighton at The Amex.

Boro have the third best away record in the Championship. But that is likely to come under scrutiny against the team that sits in fourth position - one place above Middlesbrough in the league table.

Tomorrow's match will be the first of three testing ties which could define Boro's season. Speaking ahead of the game, Tony Mowbray said:

"Brighton, Cardiff, Hull City - the next three games - we'll have a clearer picture coming out of the end of those three games I think."

– Tony Mowbray, Middlesbrough FC Manager

Middlesbrough will be without club captain Matthew Bates for the trip. Scans showed the defender suffered suspected cruciate ligament damage during Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Ipswich.

However, Mowbray welcomes back Stephen McManus into the squad, after the centre back was recalled from his loan spell with Bristol City.

"He wanted to go a play, so we allowed that to happen. We find ourselves in a scenario now where he needs to come back and help our football team."

– Tony Mowbray, Middlesbrough FC Manager