Southampton top scorer Charlie Austin is out after suffering a shoulder injury against Hapoel Beer Sheva.
Dusan Tadic returned from injury as a substitute in that match, while Jay Rodriguez and Sofiane Boufal have recovered from slight injuries.
Middlesbrough trio Gaston Ramirez, Alvaro Negredo and Jordan Rhodes are all injury doubts after missing training on Friday.
George Friend is continuing to build up his fitness after a knee problem.
John Roder: “Middlesbrough travel south in the hope of making it a thoroughly miserable week for Southampton following their defeat at Crystal Palace last weekend and exit from the Europa League after the draw with Hapoel Beer Sheva on Thursday.
“Southampton and Middlesbrough average just less than a goal per game in the Premier League this season.
“However, Boro are proving to be no pushover on their return to the top division, with just one defeat in their last six, while Saints have only one victory over the same period.
“The majority of Boro’s away matches have ended level, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this one finished in a low-scoring draw.”
Southampton manager Claude Puel: “It’s important to come back with conviction and get moving again in the Premier League.
“I have a lot of respect for Middlesbrough. They play good football, with good pressing and organisation.”
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: “Southampton have improved every season, and it is a tough game for us. But as always, I prefer us to focus on ourselves.
“We have exactly the same goals (tally), for and against, as Southampton – we have to go there believing we can win.”
Southampton did not put up much resistance in their defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, which was one of those performances that mid-table clubs throw in now and again.
I would expect Saints to improve on that showing here, but they will have to break down a Middlesbrough team who are very defensive minded and have had some good results on the road.
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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