Middlesbrough - Chelsea Preview: Manchester United await winners in FA Cup quarter-finals

Rafael Benitez takes the west London side to the Riverside Stadium to face the Championship outfit with a last-eight clash at Old Trafford awaiting the victors


Bikey, Williams, McManus, Friend
Carayol, Leadbitter, Dyer, Hailliday
McDonald, Main


Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand
Ramires, Mikel, Marin
Oscar, Torres, Moses

Tony Mowbray will be without defenders Justin Hoyte and Stuart Parnaby, meaning Andre Bikey should start at right-back with Stephen McManus alongside Rhys Williams at centre-back.

Josh McEachran, currently on-loan from Chelsea, is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Up front Lukas Jutkiewicz (ankle) is a doubt for the game, and so Curtis Main is on standby to support Scott McDonald.

Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez should continue with Petr Cech in goal ahead of second-choice keeper Ross Turnbull, despite his tendency to rotate goalkeepers in the cup.

Ryan Bertrand is likely to replace Ashley Cole at left-back, though, with John Terry set to partner David Luiz at centre-back and Branislav Ivanovic to start at right-back after Benitez ruled out Gary Cahill (virus) and Cesar Azpilicueta (leg).

Juan Mata is likely to be rested for the tie to give Oscar a chance whilst Fernando Torres should also return to Benitez's team.

  • Middlesbrough have not scored in their past five meetings with Chelsea and the last time the Blues visited the Riverside Stadium, they thumped Boro 5-0 in the Premier League.
  • The Teesiders have only lost three of their last 22 FA Cup games at home.
  • This will be the fourth meeting between Middlesbrough and Chelsea in the FA Cup. Chelsea have won two (including the 1997 final) and Boro have won one.
  • Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in nine of their last 11 matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.
  • The Blues have only lost one of their last 52 FA Cup games against lower ranked sides; losing 0-1 to Barnsley in March 2008.
  • The Londoners’ record of 26 unbeaten FA Cup games is the longest ever run without defeat in the competition. (next best Blackburn Rovers on 23 saw their run ended in 1886).
  • Chelsea's Ashley Cole (pictured right) has won the competition a record seven times.