Manchester City host Middlesbrough at the Etihad Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is set for 3:05pm GMT. Live commentary of the game will be available on BBC Radio Manchester.
The Citizens are currently on a break at Abu Dhabi, where they are trying to get back into the competitive mould by playing friendlies and dispel memories of their setback against Arsenal last weekend, when they were comprehensively beaten by Arsene Wenger's men at the Etihad.
The FA Cup is a prelude to the Herculean task that City are set to embark on in the following weekend, when they take on Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge in a crucial six-pointer. A win for City will close the gap on Jose Mourinho's men to only two points while a loss may mark an end to their title challenge.
Manuel Pellegrini has a crucial few days ahead, especially with the men in Blue also set to resume their quest for their first ever entry into the quarter finals of the Champions League. The reigning Champions have failed to move past the knockout stages in the past three seasons.
The Chilean has to spruce up his defence in the aftermath of a disappointing performance against the Gunners and his team have to improve by leaps and bounds if they have to close the gap on Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have nothing to lose as they take on City and will take inspiration from Wigan, who had beaten City to win the FA Cup two seasons back. The legacy of the FA Cup has proven that past lineage doesn't have any bearing in the competition and that your performance on the day is what matters in the long run.
However, the Championship side are not fooling around, currently second in the Championship and well on their way to securing a promotion after missing out on Premier League for a period of six years.
Their performance against Liverpool in the third round of the Capital One should give everyone a true representation of their industry and spirit, something Pellegrini cannot take lightly ahead of their trip to Chelsea.
What Managers Say
Manuel Pellegrini: "I expect a tough game. They are in a very good position in the Championship and they are managed by a good manager who I know. I am sure that if we don't play with 100 per cent intensity and concentration we are going to have problems to qualify for the next stage of the cup so we need to play a good game against a good team. Maybe they are not in the Premier League but they are fighting to get promoted."
Aitor Karanka: "There's a big difference between us and Manchester City but football is football. I know it's going to be a difficult game but we're preparing to fight face-to-face with them in the same way that we did against Liverpool."
Betting Odds (By 888Sport)
- Manchester City win: 1/4
- Draw: 5
- Middlesbrough Win: 9
- Last Five (all competitions): D W W D L
- Last Result: Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal
- Last Five (all competitions): D W D W W
- Last Result: Middlesbrough 2-1 Cardiff City
Possible XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas, Silva, Nasri; Aguero
Possible XI: Konstantopoulos; Kalas, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Adomah, Clayton, Leadbitter, Bamford; Tomlin; Kike