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Everton At Middlesbrough: Capital One Cup Preview

The Toffees need to put a disappointing draw with Bournemouth behind them in order to continue their Cup run on Tuesday...

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Well, well, well. After an exhilarating if finally disappointing draw against Bournemouth on Saturday, Everton need to pick themselves up in time for their Capital One Cup quarter-final clash with Middlesbrough.

The Blues are in with a great chance of really challenging for competition - with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal already knocked out. However, they have to beat their Championship opponents first.

The Opposition

Middlesbrough beat Manchester United on penalties to get to this stage, and are also fresh of the back of a 2-0 win over Huddersfield on the weekend. As such, it is important that Roberto Martinez and co. don't underestimate the second tier outfit.

They have also won five of their last six matches, and have little in the way of injury troubles. Alex Baptiste and Rhys Williams - both long term absentees - are their only players stuck on the sidelines.

However, there is one bonus. Manager Aitor Karanka has implemented a slick, passing style of play at the Riverside, which could play in to the hands of Everton. Although, the same was also thought about Bournemouth - and we all know how that ended up.

Team News

So Everton need to be wary of Middlesbrough. They also have some injury troubles. Gareth Barry and James McCarthy both sustained knocks on the weekend, and may not be available for the encounter.

If they don't make it then it could mean a return to the starting XI for Tom Cleverley or Muhamed Besic. Equally, Ross Barkley could move back and allow Steven Naismith or Aaron Lennon in to the team.

Meanwhile, Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert, and Bryan Oviedo are still ruled out. Although, it could be that Leighton Baines returns for this clash.

The Final Word

The match on Saturday was far from the perfect build up to this encounter, but on the other had a win could banish the memories of that result.

However, an in-form - and hugely motivated as the underdog - Middlesbrough could prove to be very tough opposition. The form of our wide-men - be they Gerard Deulofeu, Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon, or Arouna Kone - will be vital. Middlesbrough are likely to sit deep and getting round them on the wings may be one of the only ways through.

Some rotation from Martinez will surely be necessary though, especially with a game being played just three days before. Expect to see Joel Robles in goal again, and perhaps chances for the likes of Mirallas, Naismith, and Cleverley in the starting XI.

The fact that we can now bring in such high-quality players as rotation options gives hope, but it still has to be hoped that they aren't too rusty from a lack of options.

Everton predicted line-up: Joel, Coleman, Galloway, Stones, Funes Mori, Barry, Cleverley, Mirallas, Barkley, Naismith, Lukaku