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Man Utd

Middlesbrough

FA CupVS
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Manchester United vs Middlesbrough in the F.A. Cup on Feb 4. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Manchester United vs Middlesbrough in the F.A. Cup on Feb 4. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

With Manchester United earning a huge win over West Ham, they will look to generate further momentum this Friday and with Championship outfit Middlesbrough coming to town, it will give the Red Devils the opportunity to progress further in the F.A. Cup.

Of course, this competition will be still relatively new to Ralf Rangnick and although the interim manager will be able to call upon a huge amount of quality, he must be careful not to slip up on an F.A. Cup banana skin.

  • Kindly note that all information in this preview, including whether or not the events will take place, is subject to change due to Covid-19.
MarketPrediction
Match Odds and Both teams to ScoreMan Utd
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Manchester United and Both Teams To Score

With both teams approaching this encounter in good league form, there is no reason to suggest why it cannot carry over to the cup and although Manchester United will be favourites to come out on top, the value bets will be found elsewhere.

Because although United are great going forward, they are sometimes susceptible to making costly mistakes at the back and it is this, that Middlesbrough will look to exploit this coming Friday night.

Which means if like me, you think the Red Devils will win but both teams will score at least once, you can back this outcome at odds of 12/5 with leovegas - odds that seem far too good to ignore at the start of the weekend.

Manchester United Form, squad news, opinion

After earning a dramatic win over West Ham, Manchester United find themselves back in the top-four of the Premier League and although a return to the Champions League is of primary concern, their focus on Friday will lie elsewhere.

One that comes in the shape of club football’s greatest cup competition and with United having a rather symbiotic relationship with the F.A. Cup, they will also aim for another Wembley return at the end of the season.

Whether one Wembley return can subsequently become two with a trip to the final in May, is something that remains to be seen and if that is to be the case, then the Red Devils will first have to deal with the visit of Middlesbrough.

With the momentum starting to build at Old Trafford, interim manager Ralf Rangnick may well use this opportunity to freshen up his squad and give some fringe players some starting minutes.

Of course, too many changes may halt the progress of the red machine and if United do not treat their opposition with the respect they deserve, they could well end up having their fingers burnt.

In terms of injuries and suspensions for the visit to Middlesbrough, Mason Greenwood is suspended until further notice. Eric Bailly will be available for selection after returning from AFCON duty but both Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw are expected to be ruled out with hamstring injuries.

Middlesbrough Form, squad news, opinion

After Neil Warnock was given his marching orders as Middlesbrough manager, chairman Steve Gibson turned his attention to Chris Wilder and with another former Sheffield United boss moving further north, he has managed to move Middlesbrough further up the table.

Because the arrival of Wilder has certainly provided the Riverside Stadium outfit with a new manager boost and with five wins from their last six Championship outings, they once again find themselves in contention for the play-offs.

The fifth of those wins came as recently as last weekend and after getting the better of Coventry by a goal to nil, it means Middlesbrough currently find themselves occupying the final play-off place in sixth.

Which means, manager Wilder may find himself with something of a dilemma and one that comes with the additional games that a cup run provides - especially with the Championship being a 46-game season.

That is not to say that Middlesbrough will be doing their best to exit the competition, it is more the fact that additional cup outings may end up being to the detriment of their own promotion hopes.

In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Manchester United, Middlesbrough currently have a clean bill of health at the time of writing and will also be able to welcome back James Léa Siliki from AFCON duty.

History

When it comes to history between these two clubs, there is certainly plenty of it and with their first meeting taking place as far back as 1894, these two outfits have certainly had some battles over the years.

In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Manchester United have won on 64 occasions, Middlesbrough 34 and there have been 28 draws

About the Venue

When it comes to English football stadia, they do not get any more legendary than Old Trafford and with the Theatre of Dreams set to stage another cup tie, the United fans will be hoping their team takes another step on the Road to Wembley.

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.

Conclusion

Although qualification to the Champions League will be Manchester United’s main priority this season, an F.A. Cup run will be welcomed all the same and interim manager Ralf Rangnick will certainly not take Friday’s opposition lightly.

At the same time, Middlesbrough’s main priority will be promotion to the Premier League next season, and it will be interesting to see just how seriously new boss Chris Wilder takes this upcoming cup tie.

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