Middlesbrough meet Premier League giants Manchester United tonight in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford, with a hope of repeating their cup heroics last year in which they knocked out Manchester City.
These exploits and quality of the Middlesbrough side make us consider, is it possible for Middlesbrough to shock Manchester United?
Middlesbrough will be missing several key players prior to the clash such as talisman Cristhian Stuani who suffered a double muscle tear whilst on international duty for Uruguay. Considering he is the current top scorer in the tournament it is a massive blow for Middlesbrough.
Also Albert Adomah twisted his ankle at Wolves and will likely miss out whilst Downing played through the pain on Saturday and may be fit to start.
Forshaw will be missing through injury whilst Middlesbrough also have a couple of form problems. Mainly Ben Gibson at centre back has really struggled for form this season and this is a time where Middlesbrough’s defence will have to live up to last season’s reputation.
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Injuries aside, Louis van Gaal may see this as the best chance Manchester United have at silverware this season and like he did against Ipswich, opt to choose a strong team. Rooney, Schneiderlin and Martial are all likely to feature whilst form man Chris Smalling is likely to start.
Inevitably though, some of the fringe players will be given a run out such as Lingard and Pereira, the latter impressing in the last game against Ipswich.
It is incredibly unlikely that Van Gaal will take Middlesbrough lightly given there shock win over Manchester City last year and will play a strong team.
Van Gaal will realise that it is essential that they win the Capital One Cup so he can win his first silverware as United manager and try to use it as a springboard for future success.
Manchester United are in good form and have only leaked two goals at home this season whilst Middlesbrough’s recent away form is drab.
But they won there last away game against Wolves which is likely to infuse confidence in the squad and with 10,000 Teessiders roaring them on at Old Trafford, anything is possible.
But one has to be realistic, given the current home form of United and the strong nature of the squad they have they should come through, but they will get a stern examination from Karanka’s men.
So…. What do you think Boro fans can we pull off another shock result? Leave thoughts and opinions below!