The Red Devils head into the game fresh from their 1-0 win over FC Rostov in the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday night as Jose Mourinho’s men booked their place in the quarter-finals thanks to Juan Mata’s goal.
Manchester United are currently in sixth place in the Premier League table as they bid to finish in the top four this season under new boss Mourinho.
The Portuguese coach has been tasked with steering Manchester United back into the Champions League places after the disappointment of their fifth-placed finish under Louis van Gaal last term.
However, former Liverpool star Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to lose further ground in the race for Champions League qualification by dropping two points on Sunday afternoon.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “I think we might see Boro play with a bit more freedom now Karanka has gone, which was one of the criticisms he faced.
“There will be a reaction from the fans too, because many of them were unhappy with Karanka’s playing style.
“Add all that together and I would not be surprised if Boro get something from Manchester United on Sunday.
“United have a big squad so they should be able to cope with playing on Thursday night too, but they are not the same side without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”
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