Saturday’s FA Cup third-round meeting between Middlesbrough and Shrewsbury Town at the Riverside sees a clash of two teams pushing for promotion from their respective divisions.
Hosts Boro look in good shape to claim at least a play-off position in the Championship as they bid to return to the Premier League following a three-year absence.
Shrewsbury have been in the League Two promotion shake-up regularly in recent times, clinching a play-off position in two of the last three seasons.
The visitors currently find themselves in the top seven and though their climb up the table has stuttered of late, they have only lost two of their last 13 fixtures in all competitions.
Shrewsbury will want to further enhance their status as giant killers, having already put paid to Premier League Swansea City and Derby County of the Championship in the Carling Cup this campaign.
Boro’s heavy reverse to Blackpool on Monday was their first defeat in six, as they missed the opportunity to claim pole position in the Championship.
Both teams will no doubt see the league as the priority, but Shrewsbury will want to further enhance their status as giant killers, having already put paid to Premier League Swansea City and Derby County of the Championship in the Carling Cup this campaign.
Though Middlesbrough are likely to rest players regardless, they will certainly be without midfielders Barry Robson and Nicky Bailey through suspension and injury respectively.
With this in mind, the League Two outfit will fancy their chances of another upset. And although a win might just be out of their reach, the draw at 16/5 looks very tempting.
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Shrewsbury are 25/4 to get the win, with Middlesbrough clear favourites at 11/25. However, the offer of 7/2 for the visitors to progress to the next round looks a good bet, especially if they manage to take the 1997 runners-up back to the New Meadow.
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