Mansfield Town vs Middlesbrough News, Stats and Predictions

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Mansfield Town vs Middlesbrough News, Stats and Predictions

 

George Maris says Mansfield Town have nothing to lose against Middlesbrough and believes they are capable of causing an FA Cup upset this weekend.

Amid Covid chaos, Boro travel to Mansfield on Saturday for the FA Cup third round tie, which will be Boro’s first game of 2022 after the Covid outbreak and postponement of the Sheffield United game.

The Stags have themselves had a couple of Covid cases in the past week, but both clubs are confident they will have enough players available to fulfil the cup fixture at the One Call Stadium.

And for League Two Mansfield, who have already beaten Sunderland and Doncaster to reach this stage of the oldest cup competition, confidence is flowing through their squad that another upset could be on the cards.

Previewing the game, midfielder Maris said: “Hopefully we can play our stuff and see what we can do.

“It is just another game, but there is that extra excitement as we know what the third round is and what it could do for this club.

“We will prepare for it like we prepare for all the league games – focus on us and hopefully that will stand us in good stead to get the job done.

“It’s more about excitement than nerves for a cup game like this. We’ve got nothing to lose against a Championship side.

“We will just go out there and do our best – it’s worked in the last two rounds so hopefully we can do it again.”

While there is excitement running through the Mansfield squad, there is also an appreciation that they will be underdogs against Chris Wilder’s in-form Boro side.

They’ve lost only one of the new boss’ eight games in charge and are now unbeaten in six.

Go here for all the latest Middlesbrough news

But Covid cases mean there is uncertainty over which players will and won’t be available – that dependant on which players are able to leave isolation after seven days, as per Government guidelines if negative LFTs are provided on days six and seven. That will also affect Boro’s preparation for the game too, with limited numbers in training this week.

And on top of that, Mansfield are in good form of their own having won their last five. That accompanied by the previous two cup upsets and the home advantage they have for the Boro tie, leaves Maris feeling confident.

“We are underdogs, but we can’t go into it with that mindset,” he said.

“We have to go into it like we did against Sunderland and Doncaster and hopefully produce another shock and see what happens.

“Against Sunderland and Doncaster we always felt like we could win and I feel like it’s the same again.

“I don’t think we were ever out-played in those games. We went there and deserved to win.

“We were holding on a bit at Sunderland, but we were good and more than a match for both those sides.

“Obviously this is a step up this time and it’s a Championship club who are going well. We know it will be harder than the previous two games.

“But we’re at home so hopefully that can count for something and we can get the fans behind us.

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