Gerrard & El Zhar start at Boro

Captain Steven Gerrard returns to action following a hamstring injury for the visit to the Riverside Stadium this afternoon.

And youngster Nabil El Zhar makes his full league debut having made many sub appearances this season and previously only started in the League Cup.

Also coming into the team are Sami Hyypia – who replaces the injured Alvaro Arbeloa, with Carragher switching to right back – and Ryan Babel on the left of midfield.

Reds Line-Up: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Hyypia, Aurelio, El Zhar, Mascherano, Alonso, Babel, Gerrard, Kuyt

Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Riera, Benayoun, Lucas, N’gog, Darby.

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