Team news: Kieron Freeman handed full Derby County debut against Middlesbrough
KIERON Freeman will make his first senior start for Derby County in their New Year's Day clash against Middlesbrough at Pride Park Stadium this afternoon (3pm).
Freeman will line up at left-back as Gareth Roberts has been ruled out with a calf problem.
Rams boss Nigel Clough made four changes for Saturday's 1-1 draw at Charlton Athletic and he has made four more for the Boro match.
Mark O'Brien replaces James O'Connor at centre-back after shaking off a groin strain, while Conor Sammon and Michael Jacobs have been recalled at the expense of Theo Robinson and Nathan Tyson.
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Jacobs is expected to start up front alongside Sammon.
Player of the year Craig Bryson (knee) misses out again, as does Jamie Ward, who felt his hamstring after coming off the bench for his first appearance in three months at the weekend.
Teenage midfielder Will Hughes is passed fit to play despite suffering a knock on the ankle at Charlton.
Young defender Michael Hoganson is named among the substitutes.
DERBY COUNTY: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, O'Brien, Freeman, Coutts, Hughes, Hendrick, Davies, Jacobs, Sammon. Subs: Fielding (gk), O'Connor, Hoganson, Gjokaj, Doyle, Tyson, Robinson.
MIDDLESBROUGH: Steele, Parnaby, R Williams, Woodgate, Halliday, Bailey, Leadbitter, Smallwood, McDonald, Reach, Jutkiewicz. Subs: Leutwiler (gk), Miller, Thomson, Zemmama, L Williams, Burgess, Weldon.
REFEREE: D Whitestone (Northamptonshire).