Jonathan Woodgate will ring the changes for the Carabao Cup meeting with Crewe tonight (7.45pm) – and is urging the new faces to stake their claims for a Championship start.
Summer signings Marcus Browne, Marc Bola, and Anfernee Dijksteel are all likely to make their full debuts against the League Two side while George Friend could also make his return from injury.
“There’ll definitely be changes,” said Woodgate. “There are a few players who need to play, and we’ve also got a few who could probably do with the rest.
“George trained again at the weekend, and hopefully he’ll be playing. Let’s see. They (the three new signings) will play in the game because I need to look at them.
“They will put pressure on the players who played at the weekend.”
While the Boro starting line-up will have a different look about it, Crewe manager David Artell says he won’t be making any dramatic changes from the side which won 2-1 at Oldham last weekend.
"It would be foolish of anyone to think we can go to a Championship team, field a weakened team, and expect to get anything,” he said.
"Middlesbrough are two leagues higher than us. It's a bit like saying someone from the Conference North could come to us with a second string and expect to get a result. I don't think so!
"That's the thought process. We have to make sure we go there, give a good account of ourselves and try to win the game.
"I hope our players take the opportunity to stand up and shine on a big occasion against a team two leagues higher in a big stadium."