The exciting FA Cup third round fixtures continue on Saturday as Middlesbrough take on Premier League side Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium.
The Midlands outfit returned to winning ways last weekend at the expense of Burnley, while Michael Carrick’s men suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Coventry City last time out.
Middlesbrough haven’t been at their best during the festive period as they have lost two of their last three Championship matches.
The Yorkshire outfit now find themselves 12th in the league standings with 36 points from 26 matches.
Their latest defeat came at the hands of Coventry who ran out 3-1 winners at the Riverside Stadium on New Year’s Day.
The visitors made a brilliant comeback after conceding the first goal as a brace from Tatsuhiro Sakamoto and Haji Wright’s 58th-minute strike helped them to a comfortable victory.
Middlesbrough now face two formidable opponents in the form of Aston Villa and Chelsea in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup respectively.
Unai Emery’s side haven’t been very convincing recently but they have had an excellent Premier League campaign overall.
The Lions sparked conversations of an impressive title charge after their shocking wins over Manchester City and Arsenal at Villa Park last month.
However, results since haven’t been very encouraging for the Midlands side as they went on to register just a single victory from their next four league fixtures before Saturday’s 3-2 success over Burnley.
It was far from a vintage performance from the hosts but they still managed to secure full points in the end.
Leon Bailey fired the opening goal before Zeki Amdouni equalised in the 31st minute.
Moussa Diaby restored their advantage before the break, but the Clarets levelled the scores through Lyle Foster in the second-half.
Douglas Luiz scored the winner from the spot as the Lions sealed a thrilling 3-2 win.
Villa last met Middlesbrough in the Championship in 2018-19, with the Midlands outfit emerging victorious on both occasions.
Middlesbrough will be without Sam Silvera, Seny Dieng and Riley McGree due to their international commitments. Boro also have many players out injured, including the likes of Darragh Lenihan, Lewis O’Brien, Hayden Hackney, Marcus Forss and Matt Crooks.
As for Aston Villa, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne, Emiliano Buendia, and Robin Olsen will all be missing due to fitness issues. The availability of Matty Cash and Youri Tielemans for Saturday’s fixture will also be doubtful.
Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa potential line-ups
Middlebrough: Glover; Van den Berg, Fry, Clarke, Bangura; Howson, Barlaser; Jones, Rogers, Greenwood; Coburn
Aston Villa: Martinez; Chambers, Konsa, Lenglet, Moreno; Zaniolo, McGinn, Kamara, Bailey; Duran, Watkins
How to Watch?
Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa can be watched via the live FA Cup streams.
Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa prediction
Middlesbrough have been winless in their previous five meetings with Aston Villa. Can they break that record by pulling off a win at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday? Given Boro’s form and the excellent squad quality of Villa, it looks a very unlikely result.
Middlesbrough 1-2 Aston Villa
- Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester United – prediction, team news, line-ups
- Preview: Middlesbrough vs Aston Villa – Prediction, Team News, Lineups
- Preview: Manchester United vs Aston Villa – Prediction, Team News, Lineups
- Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa – Prediction, Team News, Line-ups
- Huge Test for Emery – Aston Villa Predicted Lineup and Preview vs Tottenham Hotspur
- Aston Villa eye Europa Conference League success after impressive 2022-23 season
- Aston Villa forward Cameron Archer set to join Sheffield United in £18.5m deal
- Aston Villa in July: Four preseason fixtures as Emery aims for another excellent season
- Aston Villa make formal offer to sign Villarreal star Pau Torres
- Preview: Aston Villa vs Brighton & Hove Albion – prediction, team news, line-ups