League Cup Preview – Middlesbrough
In a brief hiatus from league commitments, Palace make the long midweek trip to Middlesbrough for the third League Cup tie in a row away from home.
So far it has not hindered the Eagles after seeing off both Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion who were relegated from the Premier League last season. Next up, is another recently relegated side in the shape of Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough.
Former boss Pulis faces his former side but with a new club after his stint at the helm of the Baggies ending last November but he was soon back in football following the sacking of Gary Monk, and appointed Boro boss on Boxing Day.
There is of course previous between Palace and their old boss which was taken through the courts but this cup tie sees them clash once again. Roy Hodgson will have the upmost respect for his opposite number and will not be drawn into such conversations but there is no doubt the travelling fans will have a thing or two to say.
As has been the case in all Caraboa Cup ties to date, it is difficult to know how seriously clubs will take this competition even though it is has reached the fourth round stage with a place in the last eight at stake.
With Boro keen on a swift return to the Premier League and currently sitting third in the Championship, it is unlikely they will risk the first team in this fixture considering how ridiculously competitive the division is this season.
Hodgson is likely to have a similar attitude to that in the competition so far with starts expected for the likes of Vicente Guaita, Martin Kelly, Jason Puncheon, Jairo Riedewald, Max Meyer, Connor Wickham and Alexander Sorloth among others.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Christain Benteke (knee), Joel Ward (muscle) and Scott Dann (knee) are all expected to miss out.
MIDDLESBROUGH – Ryan Shotten (knee) will not feature.
The last time the two sides met was February 2017 in the Premier League at Selhurst Park. A 34th minute goal from Dutch international Patrick van Aanholt was enough to seal all three points for the hosts.
Who Scored man of the match – Patrick van Aanholt (7.7)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 25/02/2018 Crystal Palace 1-0 Middlesbrough
- 10/09/2016 Middlesbrough 1-2 Crystal Palace
- 16/02/2013 Crystal Palace 4-1 Middlesbrough
- 25/08/2012 Middlesbrough 2-1 Crystal Palace
- 04/02/2012 Middlesbrough 0-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 28/10/2018 Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal
- 21/10/2018 Everton 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 06/10/2018 Crystal Palace 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 01/10/2018 Bournemouth 2-1 Crystal Palace
- 25/09/2018 West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Middlesbrough;
- 27/10/2018 Middlesbrough 1-1 Derby County
- 23/10/2018 Middlesbrough 0-0 Rotherham United
- 19/10/2018 Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Middlesbrough
- 06/10/2018 Middlesbrough 0-2 Nottingham Forest
- 02/10/2018 Ipswich Town 0-2 Middlesbrough
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Ryan Shotten (7.57)
- Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.40)
- Daniel Ayala (7.36)
- Luka Milivojevic (7.03)
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – SpVgg Tiergarten, Reinickendorfer Fuchse, TB Berlin, Hambrger SV, Ferencvaros, Everton
The 26 year old midfielder is currently in his second stint on loan at Middlesbrough from parent club Everton who he signed for in July 2014. The German born Bosnian was plagued by hamstring injuries which has meant that he not managed to make an impact at Goodison Park since signing from Turkish side Ferencvaros for a fee of around £4million. He made his professional debut for Hamburger SV in 2010 but failed to hold down a regular spot which saw him venture to Turkey to try his luck.
Tough to call this one with both sides keeping one eye firmly on league responsibilities but with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs, it is perhaps worth the gamble at this stage of the season. It is likely to be two sets of fringe players facing each other where Palace may just have the upper hand to proceed to the next round. Palace to win 2-0.
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 12/5
- Draw – 23/10
- Away – 11/10
- Both teams to score – 17/20