Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney may again be absent due to the thigh injury which ruled him out of the Boxing Day win over Sunderland.
Luke Shaw is the only other first-team player on the injury list, but manager Jose Mourinho says he is “not far” from a return.
Middlesbrough defender Antonio Barragan is suspended after he received his fifth booking of the season.
Winger Viktor Fischer is missing because of a knee injury.
Steve Bower: “The calendar year has certainly had its highs and lows for Manchester United, but 2016 is drawing to a close with real momentum.
“Jose Mourinho’s side look to be in the groove as they aim for their fifth league win in a row. If they can maintain their recent consistency and performance levels into 2017 then a Champions League charge could be within reach.
“Plotting to upset the odds is Mourinho’s former assistant Aitor Karanka, who meets his mentor as a manager for the first time.
“He can be satisfied with Middlesbrough’s season so far and will see any kind of result at Old Trafford as a welcome new year bonus.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “The team spirit I see is just fantastic.
“It is getting better every single day and I think that is showing in the way we are playing, because some of the football we have produced in recent weeks has been very good.”
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: “Manchester United are playing well, they are organised and they have amazing players.
“But they are not just one or two or three [players]. They have a lot of good players, but above everything is the team.”
Middlesbrough will not change their defensive game-plan at Old Trafford but Manchester United are probably the most improved team in the Premier League in the past few weeks.
Boss Jose Mourinho has found a system that works and, no matter what Boro do, I think they will find a way through.
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.
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