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Middlesbrough begin life in the Championship at home to title hopefuls Sheffield United – and Simon Hopper thinks the Riverside could see yet another low scoring game on Friday.

Edwin van der Sar is facing up to eight weeks out after undergoing finger surgery.

The Manchester United goalkeeper broke a bone in his left hand during United’s Audi Cup defeat against Bayern Munich in Germany.

Saving Danijel Pranjic’s spot-kick in a 7-6 penalty shootout defeat saw the Dutchman pick up the knock.

Van der Sar is not expected to be back in Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans until late September, meaning Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak will compete to start Sunday’s Community Shield game with Chelsea and the Premier League opener against Birmingham on 16 August.

Middlesbrough begin life in the Championship at home to title hopefuls Sheffield United – and Simon Hopper thinks the Riverside could see yet another low scoring game on Friday.

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