With just half-a-dozen games of the season remaining, Middlesbrough currently hold a play-off place by a single point ahead of Nottingham Forest arriving at the Riverside.
The contest witnesses a first return for former Boro manager Aitor Karanka, who was appointed in charge at the City Ground at the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, ex-Forest striker Britt Assombalonga will be hoping for a home recall having come off the bench to snatch a vital late equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Burton Albion on Easter Monday.
Brazilian full-back Fabio made a welcome return to action for the Under-23s in midweek having recovered from a thigh injury, while striker Rudy Gestede remains out of contention following ankle surgery.
The visitors are without midfielder David Vaughan and striker Daryl Murphy, although schemer Kieran Dowell could return from injury.
At this stage of the season, it’s inevitable that attention is regularly going to drift elsewhere while checking on the state of other challengers, and this weekend has the two clubs immediately outside the top six, Bristol City and Millwall, taking on each other at The Den.
And following this latest game, Boro themselves have four absolutely huge meetings with fellow promotion hopefuls Sheffield United, Bristol City, Derby County and Millwall, ahead of finishing off at Ipswich Town.
However, fans will be desperately hoping that final date is only just the start.