Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: STRIKE FORCE BOOST; Aliadiere Return Means Boro Back to Full Strength in Association With: MSV SPORT

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Football: STRIKE FORCE BOOST; Aliadiere Return Means Boro Back to Full Strength in Association With: MSV SPORT

Article excerpt

Byline: By ADAM STEEL

JEREMIE Aliadiere's anticipated first-team return offers Gareth Southgate the welcome luxury of having his three first choice strikers at his disposal for the tough trip to Old Trafford.

The flying Frenchman has trained all week and is pushing for a first teamrecall after recovering fully from a fresh hamstring niggle.

The fleet-footed former Gunner has been out of action since breaking down in Boro's 3-0 defeat at West Ham five weeks ago, a game in which he showed exactly the pace, passing and movement that persuaded boss Gareth Southgate to part with pounds 2m in the Summer.

But his return to full fitness means Southgate has his full front line attacking trident to select from for the first time in six weeks with Mido and Tuncay also available for starting berths in the crunch weekend trip to Manchester United.

The Boro boss will welcome the striking selection headache ahead of the encounter against Sir Alex Ferguson's in-form side and he must now decide whether to put the emphasis on going forward or curtail the team's attacking instincts and instead adopt a more cautious strategy to combat awesome United's heavy firepower.

Aliadiere and Turkish hitman Tuncay both desperately need a goal after failing to hit the back of the net as yet since their summer switches to Teesside.

But Boro's need for points, resolute defence and a clean sheet is just as great with them hovering just above the relegation zone.

So one or both of the frontmen might have to settle for a place on the bench at Old Trafford with Mido favourite to lead the line against a United side who have yet to concede a league goal at home this season.

Southgate admits he brought back powerful targetman Mido quicker than he would ideally have liked for the Chelsea game after the Egyptian had missed two of the last three games with a groin strain.

He feels the former Spurs striker is not yet at his sharpest after missing out on full pre-season preparation.

But despite that it seems highly unlikely that the former Spurs striker will have to settle for a substitute's role due to the imposing physical presence and aerial threat which makes him key to Boro's offensive style. …

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