Manchester United v Middlesbrough preview: Red Devils continue trophy quest against high-flying Boro
A strong side featuring Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay saw United past Ipswich in the previous round - image via BBC

Manchester United's next task is in the Capital One Cup fourth round against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, as Louis van Gaal goes in search for his first trophy as United manager.

United have gone over two years without winning a trophy, and the Capital One Cup gives Van Gaal a good chance of some silverware; after seeing the team he put out in the third round against Ipswich Town in a 3-0 win, it is clear he's taking the competition very seriously.

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Manchester United go into the game on the back of a goalless draw at home to Manchester City on Sunday, while Middlesbrough are currently sitting fourth in the Championship after winning their last game 3-1 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Middlesbrough won in Manchester last season when they defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad and are definitely no pushovers. Boro defeated Wolves in the last round of the Capital One Cup 3-0 and will definitely give United a good game on Wednesday night. 

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Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair will both miss the games through injuries, while Ashley Young and James Wilson could feature after returning to training. 

Antonio Valencia is a doubt for the game after coming off during the Manchester Derby with a foot injury, but he will be assessed closer to the time. 

The Capital One Cup could be an opportunity for Van Gaal to give some of the United youngsters a game such as Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Wilson, but it is expected it will be a strong lineup that the Dutchman will put out. 

For Middlesbrough, Uruguay international Christhian Stuani is ruled out of the game with a double muscle tear, while Alex Baptiste, Rhys Williams and Damia Abella remain long-term absentees for Aitor Karanka.

Albert Adomah and Adam Forshaw are doubts for the game with knocks and are likely to be assessed before kickoff to see if they can make it, but star man Stewart Downing is expected to be passed fit despite a suspected broken rib.

Middlesbrough have Premier League class in the form of Downing who will know all about playing against United, so despite his injury he will be the dangerman for the away side. Italian schemer Diego Fabbrini provides flair in the attacking third, while Bruno Zuculini could feature after signing as cover on a short-term loan deal from Manchester City on Monday.

Boro are likely to ring the changes as they have a big game against Hull City at the weekend and for them the league will remain the priority going forward, but after the positive after-effects of cup games with City, Arsenal and Liverpool last season, they will take the game against United seriously. 

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