The FA Cup returns again this weekend and Manchester City travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday. The tie features two teams managed by Spanish managers, however, that is one of few similarities between the sides. Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough are struggling to stay in the Premier League, having scored only 19 goals this season. Manchester City, on the other hand, are in third place, level on points with second-place Tottenham. The Citizens are strong favourites for this match and have had a good run of form recently. Middlesborough, however, will be hoping to continue their impressive cup form and cause an upset in this quarter-final tie.
Middlesbrough have had a torrid 2017 and are winless in their last five Premier League games. Their 0nly recent victory came against Oxford City in the FA Cup Fifth round. Aitor Karanka’s men haven’t scored against a top division side since the end of January when they drew 1-1 with West Brom.
Manchester City come into this game in the complete opposite form. Pep Guardiola’s team recently drew with Stoke but have seen off Sunderland and Huddersfield. The Citizens also beat Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16.
City have players in top form as well. Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling have been impressive lately and they will be highly confident going into this quarter-final tie.
Middlesbrough have injury problems defensively coming into this game but are likely to field a strong line-up. The Boro cannot call upon Calum Chambers, as he is ruled out with a foot problem, while Daniel Ayala is facing a race against time to be fit. Karanka will have Ben Gibson, Bernando Espinosa and Dael Fry available to choose from.
Manchester City have no short-term injuries hindering them, although Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan remain sidelined for a lengthy period. Vincent Kompany is back in contention after returning from injury and has had a full weeks training.
Middlesbrough predicted starting XI Manchester City predicted starting XI
With Middlesbrough in such poor form and Manchester City playing so well, this tie only seems to have one outcome. Boro have found finding the back of the net hard recently and City’s team is too strong.
Pep Guardiola’s men will have to focus as Middlesbrough are compact and don’t concede many. Karanka’s men will base their gameplan on their defensive work and will hope they can nick a goal at the other end. However, City should be too much for Boro and should progress to the semi-final.
Score Prediction: Middlesbrough 0-2 Manchester City
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