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Middlesbrough vs Brighton & Hove Albion betting tips: FA Cup Third Round preview, predictions and odds

Match preview

Brighton & Hove Albion are enjoying an outstanding season in the Premier League, so will this be the start of an historic FA Cup run?

On Tuesday, the Seagulls scored 4+ in a top-flight away game for the first time ever, demolishing Everton at Goodison.

Kaoru Mitoma broke the deadlock, before Evan Ferguson, Solly March and Pascal Groß all scored in a six minute second half spree.

Roberto De Zerbi’s team have now won four of their last six league games, leaving them up in eighth.

Given that, could Brighton be targeting a trip to Wembley in April or perhaps even May?

The Seagulls’ sole FA Cup Final appearance came in 1983, beaten by Manchester United in a replay, falling in the semi-finals four years ago.

So, will they avoid falling at the first hurdle as they make the incredibly long 300 mile journey north to the other end of the country?

Middlesbrough meantime are in excellent form, dreaming of a return to the top division.

Since Michael Carrick took over in late-October, Boro have won seven of nine Championship games, most-recently beating Birmingham City on Monday.

Matt Crooks with a brace at St Andrew’s, before Chuba Akpom sealed the points.

In this period, remarkably, Boro have climbed from 21st all the way up to fifth, so should be full of confidence.

In this competition, Middlesbrough were quarter-finalists last season, knocking out Manchester United and Tottenham en route, so cannot be taken lightly.

Will Brighton’s Premier League quality see them to victory at the Riverside?

Middlesbrough team news

Given that their next game after this one is against Millwall next Saturday, there’s no need for Michael Carrick to rotate a winning team.

USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen is back in form, after some early-season errors, but fellow American Matthew Hoppe is currently injured.

Chuba Akpom is Boro’s top-scorer this season, with 13, although he hasn’t scored in the FA Cup since a hat-trick for Hull at Bury seven years ago.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Steffen; Smith, Lenihan, Fry, Giles; Crooks, Hackney, Howson, Forss, McGree; Akpom.

Brighton & Hove Albion team news

Roberto De Zerbi is currently without Adam Webster, Jakub Moder and Danny Welbeck who are all injured.

In better news, Alexis Mac Allister came off the bench at Goodison, making his first appearance since winning the World Cup.

Webster’s injury has given Levi Colwill an opportunity at centre-back, with this set to be his seventh successive start in all competitions.

In goal, having been in the XI for all three Carabao Cup ties, Jason Steele is set to be rotated in for Robert Sánchez once more.

Teenager Evan Ferguson has scored in each of Brighton’s last two Premier League matches, so could continue to lead the line.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Steele; Lamptey, Dunk, Colwill, Estupiñán; Caicedo, Mac Allister, Groß, March, Mitoma; Ferguson.

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Middlesbrough vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Head to head statistics

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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