If we win this one, I’ll really start to believe. And win it we should. Middlesbrough are in freefall at the moment, although they haven’t played too badly in quite a few games. Last week against Man City, they certainly deserved something out of the game.
I hope I don’t regret saying this, but it is nearly two months since we put in a bad performance. Even last week, when we lost for the first time in nine games, we played superbly throughout the game. I’d settle for a dud performance and a win today, though. Like all of you, I fancy a trip to Wembley. But I musn’t get carried away.
The rumour is that Valon Behrami will be rested today and be replaced by Radoslav Kovacs. I suspect that if that happens, he will join Scott Parker in central midfield with Mark Noble moving out left and Collison switching to the right. James Tomkins also has a knock. If he had been fit, I suspect he would have been drafted into central defence.
Up front, I’d have though Di Michele would retain his place, although I must admit I’d quite like to see Savio get a full game. Perhaps it is too early.
I’m not sure I expect a free flowing game, or a vintage performance, but if we don’t nick a victory I am sure we will all be devastated.
At 5pm I will post the players rating poll again, so do come back then. I may not be able to get on a computer this evening to do a match report as I’ll be doing the paper review on the BBC sometime between 11.20 and 11.45 so I won’t be going home in between.