Veteran American striker Brian McBride could return to the Fulham starting line-up for the trip to Middlesbrough after recovering from a serious knee injury. The Fulham captain was stretched off in the reverse fixture between the teams in August but has returned to training and Roy Hodgson will be weighing up how best to use the forward in the club’s relegation fight.

New signing Paul Stalteri had been sidelined by a dead leg, so may now come back into contention, while Jari Litmanen was short of match fitness, but played for Finland during the international break.

Hameur Bouazza has been granted special leave to deal with a family matter after his mother was taken ill.