We begin our Emirates FA Cup campaign tomorrow evening with a visit from Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough to the Brentford Community Stadium. The all-Sky Bet Championship affair in the world's oldest cup competition will be our first home game of 2021 and comes off the back of Tuesday's Carabao Cup Semi Final against Tottenham Hotspur. Below you will find all the info ahead of the match.
Brentford fans will see a different Middlesbrough, both in personnel and style, from the one that held us to a 0-0 draw back in November's Championship game.
It will be different in personnel given a Covid-19 outbreak which shut the Club's Rockliffe Training Ground at the start of the week and means half of tomorrow's matchday squad will be made up of Under-23s according to boss Neil Warnock.
It may well be different in style as that draw seemed to mark a turning point in Boro's season. At full time in that game Boro had netted nine goals in their opening 11 games, having conceded just five.
Their 11 games since then have seen them score 19 and concede 13. November's draw in TW8 was their sixth of the campaign but they haven't had one since, winning six and losing five of their next 11 to travel down south sitting seventh in the table, just a point outside the Play-Offs.
In Duncan Watmore, who was named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month earlier today, they have a man with five goals in his last six games while the likes of George Saville, Chuba Akpom, and Marcus Tavernier have made important contributions in recent week.
Christian Norgaard remains out while Josh Dasilva starts his three game ban following Tuesday's sending off. Mads Roerslev featured for the B Team on Monday and may feature but Shandon Baptiste is out.
Thomas Frank will not be in the dugout tomorrow following his positive Covid-19 test, Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane will instead take charge.
Boro will field a much-changed line-up following their Covid-19 outbreak. Neil Warnock told local reporters earlier today that up to half his matchday squad could be Under-23 and Under-18 players but gave no indication as to which of his first-team players have been affected.
Neil Warnock, who turned 72 last month, has a wealth of managerial experience, having taken charge of 15 other clubs prior to arriving on Teesside. He first made the move into the dugout at Gainsborough Trinity in 1980, following a playing career that saw him make 327 career league appearances at eight different clubs.
Warnock has now earned promotion on eight separate occasions - a British football record. He famously lead Notts County to successive Play-Off victories to reach the First Division in 1991 and took Sheffield United (2005/06), QPR (2010/11), and Cardiff City (2017/18) to the Premier League.
LAST TIME OUT
HOW TO FOLLOW
This weekend's FA Cup tie, which kicks-off at 6pm, is exclusively live on the FA Player.