Middlesbrough V Accrington Stanley at Riverside Stadium : Match Preview

27 January 2017
Middlesbrough V Accrington Stanley - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

No experiments for Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka in Cup clash

Aitor Karanka is refusing to use the FA Cup to experiment as he attempts to avoid a giant-killing act at the hands of Accrington.

The defiant Spaniard, who faces the task of re-building bridges with the Riverside Stadium faithful on Saturday after criticising those who called for a more attacking approach and left early last weekend, is in no mood to be deflected from his mission.

Asked if he may experiment with both his selection and system against League Two Accrington, he bristled as he said: "I don't like experiments. I am not here working eight hours every day to do experiments in games.

"It's an important game, we will play in the style that we know to play."

Karanka, a disciple of Jose Mourinho during their time together at Real Madrid, has made himself the story this week after his outburst on Saturday evening sparked unfounded rumours that he had been sacked.

However, he will look to put that behind him as he attempts to guide the club into the fifth round and extend the run as far as he can go.

Two seasons ago as a Championship outfit Boro made the last 16, beating Manchester City on their way to an eventual exit at Arsenal, although they won only five of the following 11 league games as their promotion drive faltered and ultimately ended in play-off final defeat by Norwich.

But Karanka is confident they can give it their all this time around.

He said: "Now in the Premier League, we have fewer games than we had in the Championship.

"Two seasons ago, maybe the game against Manchester City and the following game against Arsenal punished us in the league. But in the Premier League, we don't have a lot of games.

"Normally, I try to win every single game. Now we don't have excuses to not win the games.

"It's the oldest trophy in football, it's the trophy that everybody wants to win. Everybody can play because even if you are the smallest team in England and you have your licence, you can play.

"In Spain and everywhere else, it's completely different. To aim to play in the final and Wembley and try to win this title is amazing."

Middlesbrough defender Calum Chambers will miss out due to a foot injury.

Chambers, who is at Boro on loan from Arsenal, has suffered a stress fracture which could sideline him for several weeks, and will join midfielder Gaston Ramirez, the subject of a rejected transfer bid from Premier League champions Leicester, in the treatment room.

Ramirez will miss out once again with a knee problem, while Antonio Barragan continues his recovery from a hamstring problem and fellow defender Daniel Ayala completes a three-match ban, but new arrivals Rudy Gestede and Patrick Bamford are in contention to start.

Accrington will be missing two men through suspension, Matty Pearson and Scott Brown.

Defender Pearson begins a three-match ban following his sending off in the 1-1 League Two draw with Carlisle on Saturday.

Meanwhile, midfielder Brown serves the second game of his four-match ban.

Otherwise, Stanley boss John Coleman looks set to have a full squad to choose from.