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Middlesbrough man picks two Manchester United players he hopes to play against tomorrow

Middlesbrough midfielder and boyhood Manchester United fan Matt Crooks has picked out two players he hopes to come up against when the two sides meet in the FA Cup fourth round tomorrow.

Middlesbrough overcame Mansfield Town in round three, winning 3-2 in the final minute thanks to a Elliott Hewitt own goal. Premier League giants Manchester United now await them in the next round.

It is a glamour tie for Boro, who’s primary focus with undoubtedly be promotion to the top flight in the hopes of playing sides like Manchester United regularly twice a season.

Boyhood Red Devils supporter and Middlesbrough talisman Matt Crooks has been speaking with The Northern Echo ahead of the tie, and picked out two players he hopes to be playing against tomorrow evening.

“It will probably be a bit surreal. I’m used to watching them on TV. Obviously I was growing up as a United fan when Ronaldo and Rooney [were there].

“If I had the chance to go up against him (Ronaldo), I think that would probably be the biggest thing.

“I want to be excited but I don’t want to hype it up too much and not focus on the match in hand. Obviously it will be surreal.

“I’m not used to playing the likes of Pogba, Ronaldo. It’s challenge where I hope they get put out and one I can look forward to.”

Crooks will also be hoping another player starting the game is Crooks himself. He has started all but one of Boro’s league games so far this season, sitting out the draw with West Brom due to a suspension after accumulating five yellow cards.

He is the clubs second highest scorer in the 2021/22 campaign, just one behind striker Andraz Sporar. Crooks has six goals and two assists to his name, with the Slovenian ahead of him with seven goals and a couple of assists of his own.

If Middlesbrough are to field a strong side at Old Trafford on Friday, the 28-year-old will likely be included from the start. Whether Ronaldo and Pogba feature is another matter.

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