Tony Pulis has made a very bright start to life at The Riverside Stadium having been boosted by last Saturday's 3-0 win at Queens Park Rangers, many have Boro going into the clash as favourite considering Brighton's position in the Premier League table but eben Pulis has freshened his starting XI.
The big change has been top scorer Britt Assombalonga being left on the bench, with Pulis opting for two up top in the form of Patrick Bamford and Ashley Fletcher who will get a rare run-out.
Along with Fletcher Adam Clayton will get his first start of the Pulis era, Martin Braithwaite is the third and final change for Boro.
Adama Traoré keeps his place in the side following his recent run of form, with the 22-year-old resurging under the watch of Pulis with his faith rewarded with the third and final goal at Loftus Road.
The world's oldest cup competition will prove a welcome distraction for Hughton as his side struggle down near the bottom of the Premier League table, having tasted their fifth league match without victory last Saturday with the 4-0 drubbing by Chelsea.
Coach Chris Hughton has accordingly made a number of changes for the clash on Teesside, with Markus Suttner, Dale Stephens, Connor Goldson and Tomer Hemed the only survivors from the visit of Antonio Conte's men.
Middlesbrough confirmed starting XI: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Clayton, Howson, Traore, Braithwaite, Bamford, Fletcher
Brighton confirmed Starting XI: Krul, Rosenior, Huenemeier, Goldson, Suttner, Knockaert, Stephens, Kayal, Skalak, Baldock, Hemed
Middlesbrough subs: Dimi, Leadbitter, Assombalonga, Downing, Fry, Johnson, Christie
Brighton subs: Mäenpää, Dunk, Murray, Izquierdo, Schelotto, Pröpper,Groß