FA Cup | Middlesbrough-Oxford United

Referee: Unknown

Kick Off: 15:00 Hrs

Venue: Riverside Stadium

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Sat 18th Feb 2017

Away
3 0 4

Finished

9 0 2

Middlesbrough vs Oxford United Match Prediction

By Dean Carr

Middlesbrough welcome Oxford United to the Riverside Stadium on 18/02/17 as the Premier League outfit look to avoid being on the end of an FA Cup shock. Boro’s lack of firepower came back to bite them once again at the weekend, drawing 0-0 at home to Everton. Read on for a full match preview complete with betting tips and predictions.

Middlesbrough Preview

Middlesbrough are now eight games without a win in the Premier League after their 0-0 draw with Everton last time out. Once again, Aitor Karanka’s men struggled in front of goal once again, although overall they probably won’t be too disappointed with having come away from this tie with a point. Currently two points out of the relegation zone, Middlesbrough are on an alternative run of form to the likes of Swansea and Hull, both of whom have had a real boost from new managerial appointments. With just one win in their last eleven Premier League outings, Boro’s struggles in front of goal are now threatening their chances of retaining their top-flight status next term. From those eleven games, they have failed to found the back of the net on seven occasions, scoring just six times in total during that period. In the FA Cup, they have enjoyed a relatively comfortable route to this stage of the competition, beating Sheffield Wednesday and Accrington Stanley in home ties without conceding. Given the fact they have had no trouble against lower league opposition thus far, Boro will feel they should have more than enough in their tank to come through this one.

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Oxford Preview

The distraction of this FA Cup tie appeared to weigh heavy on the minds of Oxford United’s players last time out, as their winning run came to an end at the hands of Southend United at home on Tuesday night. Coming into the game, Michael Appleton’s men had won five in a row, suffering just one defeat in ten in all competitions, but that run was swiftly put to an end by the Essex outfit. Veteran striker Marc-Antoine Fortune opened the scoring for the away side just past the hour mark, as Southend themselves attempted to close the gap on those in the relegation zone. Substitute Theo Robinson then made the game safe in the closing minutes, finding the net after a swift counter-attack which the forward finished convincingly. Oxford have already beaten opposition from the north-east in this competition, eliminating Championship leaders Newcastle United 3-0 in the fourth round. Away from home, Oxford have suffered just one defeat from their last nine travels, winning six of their last seven during that time; a statistic which will give them real confidence when they travel to the Riverside Stadium this time around. 

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Middlesbrough Team News

Antonio Barragan (hamstring) and George Friend (calf) are both doubtful for this one after missing recent outings. Patrick Bamford will hope to have his first Boro start since rejoining the club in January.

Oxford Team News

Defenders Christian Ribeiro and Sam Long are both ruled out for the away side in this one. Other than the injured pair, boss Michael Appleton has no fresh injury concerns coming into this one.

 

Betting Tips and Predictions

Middlesbrough have been extremely professional in the FA Cup this season and will be fully expecting to seal their place in the quarter-finals here. Despite Oxford’s recent history of cup upsets, I’m expecting Boro to be the side to progress here.

Middlesbrough win - 9/20 here

Middlesbrough to win to nil - 5/4 here

Middlesbrough win and under 2.5 match goals - 19/20 here

Probable Lineup

No. Pos Player m kg
12 GK Brad Guzan 193 94
2 RB Fabio 172 65
5 CD Bernardo 192 84
4 CD Daniel Ayala 190 81
25 LB Calum Chambers 182 66
19 CM Stewart Downing 180 64
8 CM Adam Clayton 175 75
7 CM Grant Leadbitter 177 79
11 RF Viktor Fischer 180 71
29 CF Rudy Gestede 193 86
37 LF Adama Traore 178 72
No. Pos Player m kg
1 GK Simon Eastwood 188 89
28 RB Marvin Johnson 175 66
33 CD Cheyenne Dunkley 188 79
5 CD Curtis Nelson 183 74
16 LB Phil Edwards 173 71
10 RM Christopher Maguire 170 66
19 LM Robert Hall 173 66
4 CM John Lundstram 181 74
23 CM Ryan Ledson 175 69
15 CF Kane Hemmings 191 79
7 CF Antonio Martinez - -