TONY PULIS has given 20-year-old defender Dael Fry the nod to start for Middlesbrough in tonight’s Championship play-off semi-final decider at Aston Villa.

Boro are looking to overturn Villa’s slender one goal advantage at Villa Park in the absence of the sidelined Daniel Ayala.

Ayala’s knee problem, picked up in the first leg, means Pulis has been forced to make one change to the side that lost at the Riverside on Saturday.

Fry will start his first game since helping Middlesbrough to a 3-1 victory over Hull in February when Ben Gibson had to withdraw beforehand through illness.

The other big news from a Middlesbrough point of view is the sight of former Villa striker Rudy Gestede on the bench.

The Benin international has not been involved in any games since that win over Hull because of surgery on an ankle injury.

There has been an outside chance that he would figure in the play-offs but Pulis kept his availability quiet when he was speaking before the game. He will be an option in the closing stages if Middlesbrough require more attacking power.

Aston Villa have been forced into one change themselves, with James Bree asked to play right-back instead of the injured Ahmed Elmohamady.

Middlesbrough know that nothing other than a win will do at Villa Park if they are to keep the Premier League dream alive and book a place against Fulham at Wembley on May 26.

ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Johnstone; Bree, Chester, Terry, Hutton; Jedinak, Hourihane; Snodgrass, Grealish, Adomah; Grabban. Subs: Bunn (gk), Samba, Whelan, Bjarnason, Hogan, Kodjia.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-1-4-1): Randolph; Shotton, Fry, Gibson, Friend; Clayton; Traore, Howson, Besic, Downing; Assombalonga. Subs: Konstantopoulos (gk), Cranie, Fabio, Leadbitter, Harrison, Bamford, Gestede.