Mark Lawrenson predicts Man Utd v Middlesbrough in FA Cup

Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Manchester United will secure a straightforward win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday night

Ralf Rangnick
Ralf Rangnick (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to secure their place in the FA Cup fifth round thanks to a straightforward win over Middlesbrough on Friday night.

The Red Devils will be hoping to end their silverware drought by winning the FA Cup for the first time since 2016 when Louis van Gaal was in charge.

Manchester United are unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions since a 1-0 defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers at the start of 2022.

The 20-time English champions were 1-0 winners against Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round following Scott McTominay’s first-half winner.

Manchester United have beaten West Ham and Brentford in two of their last three top-flight fixture to get their top-four challenge back on track.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, have won five of their last six games in the Championship to leave Boro in seventh position in the table.

Boro were 3-2 winners against Mansfield in the FA Cup third round last month.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to secure a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Friday night.

“Middlesbrough have really picked up under Chris Wilder, who has won eight out of his 12 games since he took charge at the start of November,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“We know he is a good manager, and he has won at Old Trafford before – with Sheffield United in January 2021.

“I don’t see a repeat result this time though and in any case Boro have got bigger fish to fry, because Wilder has put them right back in the mix for promotion out of the Championship.

“It will be interesting to see what kind of team United boss Ralf Rangnick puts out, but it should be strong enough for them to get the job done. I don’t see any upsets here.

“Paul Pogba is back from injury and available for the first time since Rangnick took charge. If Pogba is fit, I’d be tempted to start him and let him show him what he can do.”

Manchester United have won five of their last six games against Middlesbrough in all competitions.

The Red Devils were 3-1 winners against Boro in their most recent meeting in the Premier League in 2017.

Middlesbrough haven’t beaten Manchester United since a 3-1 win at the Riverside Stadium back in 2005.

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