by Jonathan Nagioff (@JonathanNagioff)
AFC Bournemouth will be looking to pick up from where they left off when they face Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup 4th round on Tuesday night at the Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries will be brimming with confidence after a resolute 2-1 victory away at Stoke City on Saturday, their first win in three Premier League games. Now they are just one win away from reaching their first quarter final in the Carabao Cup since 2014.
Bournemouth are heavy favourites to progress with Boro struggling for form in the Championship, lying in 13th place and without a win in five matches.
However, Eddie Howe will rotate his squad for the cup tie with one eye on Saturday’s league game against fourth placed Chelsea.
The Cherries manager is likely to give starts to forward Lys Mousset and goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who expected to replace Asmir Begovic in goal.
Callum Wilson could make his long-awaited return to first team action, especially with Jermain Defoe out with a hamstring injury and Josh King doubtful with illness.
Wilson, who has been side-lined with a knee injury since February, has been in prolific form for the under 21s, scoring twice against Cheltenham and netting a hattrick against Southend to put himself in contention to play at least some part in Tuesday’s game.
Howe insisted in his pre-match press conference that his side will not underestimate their opponents and they are taking the competition seriously.
“We want to get as far as we can. The quarter-finals await the winners on Tuesday and the games take on a different meaning then.
“We know a lot of their players from previous battles and I’m sure both sets of players will be well prepared for the game.”
As for Boro, they will be without Rudy Gestede who has been ruled out with a thigh injury, but former Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford is expected to lead the line up front.
They will travel with a host of other former Premier League players including Stewart Downing, former Manchester United full back Fabio Da Silva and Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
However, Ryan Shotton and Marvin Johnson are both cup tied.
Kick-off at the Vitality Stadium is at 7:45pm.