Who stayed up (and waited) for the nocturnal Carabao Cup draw?
While most were snug as a bug in a rug this morning, Beijing played host to the draw for the third round of the EFL Cup where Boro have been drawn away to Aston Villa which will be the second such matchup just a week apart.
The game is likely to take place on Tuesday, September 19th sandwiched between a visit to Fulham and a match against QPR at The Riverside, matches which Boro should be looking to secure a lions share of points.
Boro and Villa already have a game scheduled just a week earlier on September 12th at Villa Park.
Middlesbrough entered the Carabao Cup in round two and secured a 3-0 victory against Scunthorpe “run” by ex-Villain Adama Traore.
In prior round victories away at Colchester United and at Villa Park against Wigan Athletic, Steve Bruce has opted to mix both youth and experience. Young players like Callum O’Hare, Jake Doyle Hayes and Mitch Clark mixed with elder fringe players like Gary Gardner, Tommy Elphick and Ross McCormack
Scott Hogan has three goals across their two cup matches and looked likely to be the second Villan in a week to bag a hat trick by scoring two in the first half against Wigan on Tuesday.
Although losing to Nottingham Forest last weekend, Garry Monk has shown that he’s able to bring some excitement into this squad and it’s a hope that by the time Boro kick off against Villa the club will have clicked and picked up in front of goal.
Boro were one of fourteen Championship teams that made it to the third round making it more likely they could draw one of the 17 Premier League outfits which luckily did not materialise. Doncaster and Bristol Rovers are the lone representatives of League One drawing Arsenal and Wolverhampton respectively and reigning champions Manchester United will face Burton Albion at Old Trafford.