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Middlesbrough, previously the favourites to win the Championship, are on a horrible run of form and I for one fully expected them to come good against Cardiff at the weekend. The fact that they lost again, with motivation supposedly at its highest, is a bad sign for the club.
This cup tie against Premier League side Bournemouth could provide them with a timely boost should they win. However, it remains to be seen what sort of team Garry Monk will put out given that they have another important league match hot on the heels of their south coast trip.
Boro reached this stage with a good 2-0 win away at Aston Villa in the last round and the boss may well pick a very similar line-up here.
Could well come in for Randolph again to allow the number one alleviate any risk for the league games.
Cyrus Christie is another who may be rested, given how important he is. Former Swansea man Roberts is perhaps the beneficiary.
Some experience in the back line will be crucial, and the Spaniard would provide it if he gets to start the game.
The youngster was introduced at half-time in the last round and he may be given a go from the start here in order to protect Ben Gibson.
Some may think Friend should be in the side ahead of Fabio anyway and all things being alright, he should play here.
His inclusion would add some quality to the midfield and the former Norwich man could be crucial.
Another good passer of the ball, if Boro add some pace to their attack here, then his presence could make a big difference.
Still with a lot of potential, Bamford likes this sort of stage and could cause plenty of problems for Bournemouth.
Brother James had a disappointing League Cup date at the weekend, north of the border, perhaps Marcus can do a little better.
Having stepped up to the Championship comfortably, it would be wise to allow Johnson his head against a Premier League side.
It would be perfectly acceptable to allow the young striker a chance against top level defenders. I also wouldn’t bet against him causing plenty of problems to Bournemouth.