The Best of the Boro – Which Middlesbrough players should you have in your Fantasy Premier League team?

While managers have been wheeling and dealing all summer, it’s now the turn of the fans to pick the very best squad for that glorious end-of-season victory over friends and family.
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If you’re thinking of choosing a few Middlesbrough players for your line-up, here are some savvy selections to help you out. You should get more bang for your buck by buying players from the newly-promoted club earlier in the season, making sure you’ve got plenty of cash left over for Zlatan Ibrahimović, Harry Kane, or Jamie Vardy.

Ready, steady…

Looking for a reliable, mid-budget left-back? You could do a lot worse than George Friend. He’s strong, athletic, and fast, ticking all of the ideal left-back boxes. He loves bombing forward with mazy runs, so he could end up grabbing you an assist or two along the way. Friend was also one of Karanka’s first names on the team sheet last season, picking up an impressive 39 league appearances in 2015-16.

Spend the money on…

Boro are well-known for their super-solid backline, and former Barcelona and United man Víctor Valdés is likely to be one of the pricier goalkeepers up for selection. If you’ve made it to your front three and have a bit of cash to spare, you could do a lot worse than putting it behind Álvaro Negredo. The Spaniard comes to Boro on loan from Valencia, and has unfinished business after a hit-and-miss spell at Manchester City a few years ago. He should settle quickly into a Boro squad that has a playing system not dissimilar to that of successful Spanish sides.

Budget buy…

When the coffers are running low, call on Adam Clayton. One of those industrious midfielders who reads the game beautifully, Clayton brings real steel to the middle of the park. Renowned for being a leader on the pitch, Clayton will work hard and help your back four to keep those goal leaks to a minimum.

Super sub…

Boro ruffled feathers last season when they lured striker Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn, with his ‘goals-to-games in the Championship’ reputation looming large. He picked up form at the end of the campaign and chipped in with goals just when Boro needed him most. Rhodes is a good hold-up player who’s strong in the air, creates chances from nothing, and has a killer instinct in the box. Expect him to take on a Theo Walcott-style super-sub role for Karanka.

Play your wildcard with…

If things aren’t going so well and you need to change it up, why not call on Viktor Fischer? One of Karanka’s first signings in the close season, the former Ajax hotshot comes with a string of plaudits and a keen eye for goal. The Danish international looks set to be a key player in Boro’s first Premier League campaign for seven years. Get in early and choose him while he’s cheap.

Follow Catherine on Twitter @basslady

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