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FA Cup

  • 8 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 26707

Middlesbrough - Sunderland Preview: Hosts looking for only second win of the year against north-east opponents

Middlesbrough - Sunderland Preview: Hosts looking for only second win of the year against north-east opponents

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A close game is likely at the Riverside after a stalemate in first meeting as the two sides battle for a fifth-round berth and home tie against Arsenal



Hoyte, Bennett, Bates, McMahon
Robson Williams, Arca, McDonald
Main, Jutkiewicz


Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Richardson
McClean, Gardner, Colback, Larrson
Sessegnon, Wickham

Middlesbrough's top scorer Marvin Emnes and midfielder Faris Haroun face late fitness tests on the day of the clash, both suffering hamstring injuries on Saturday, and the early signs seem to suggest that they will be absent.

Tony Mowbray may give a starting place to 19-year-old striker Curtis Main whilst Julio Arca is available for again for Boro and will bring some welcomed experience into the middle of the park. 

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has various injuries to deal with for the trip to the Riverside, with Lee Cattermole, David Vaughan, Wes Brown, Nicklas Bentdner, Titus Bramble, and keeper Craig Gordon among the sidelined players.

Kieran Richardson is likely to continue at left-back for the Black Cats, with their original tie saviour, Frazer Campbell, set to feature at somepoint again. James McClean, who scored in their last Premier League game against Stoke City, should start and will be looking to continue his impressive form.

  • Middlesbrough's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury in the third-round was their only win so far this year, the one before coming on Boxing Day against Hull in the league.
  • Boro reached the semi final in 2006 but lost 1-0 to West Ham and current manager, Mowbray, led West Brom to the penultimate stage in 2008.
  • More recently though, Boro have not performed so well and have been knocked out in the 3rd round in each of the last two seasons.
  • Sunderland have failed to get further than the last 16 since 2005.
  • Former Manchester United striker, Campbell (pictured right), scored the goal which earned the Black Cats this replay, was his first game after 18-months out with a knee injury.
  • If the visitors run out victorious, exactly half of the teams left in the competition will be from the Premier League.
  • Ex-Arsenal and current Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson could come up against former Gunner and now Boro man Justin Hoyte on the wing in this tie, with the winner set to face Arsene Wenger's side in the next round.
  • The sides have met four times in the FA Cup before, with each progressing twice.

Players to watch

R. Williams

Position: Defender

Games: 1

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 23-year-old put in a fine display last time around and will look to boss the midfield again, with the possible return of the experienced Arca alongside him.

The Australian was linked with top-flight in January move and his boss will be glad that his form did not lead to a move away, however he will be hoping he can showcase that his best talents on Wednesday night.

J. McClean

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The wingers' talents were completely unknown to O'Neill when he took over as boss, but he has blossomed so far this season and scored the only goal in the game against Stoke on Sunday.

The manager has hailed the 22-year-old's arrival on the scene as brilliant, and the local derby will be a good test for the Northern Irishman.

Editor's Prediction

The team's first meeting was obviously very tight and I expect this one to be the same, with the two sides having an even record against each other in the competition. Pride will be at stake, as well as a place in the fifth-round and a home tie against Arsenal.

Mowbray is without his top scorer Emnes and Boro will miss his firepower up-front. However, O'Neill also has a number of injuries to deal with and therefore it will not be easy for either side, but I think the Black Cats' Premier League strength and stamina will see them narrowly progress in extra-time.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Middlesbrough FC MID
Middlesbrough FC Middlesbrough
Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland

Top 3 Predictions

Middlesbrough FC MID
0 - 3
Sunderland AFC SUN
Middlesbrough FC MID
1 - 2
Sunderland AFC SUN
Middlesbrough FC MID
0 - 2
Sunderland AFC SUN


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