Middlesbrough can upset north-east rivals Sunderland says striker Scott McDonald


Click to follow
The Independent Football

Middlesbrough striker Scott McDonald believes his side has what it takes to knock north-east rivals Sunderland out of the Capital One Cup tonight.

Boro are in fine form in the npower Championship having won four games in a row and with Martin O'Neill expected to make changes to their side at the Stadium of Light, the fourth round tie appears a winnable one.

The two sides met in the FA Cup last season, with the Black Cats edging a replay in extra time.

McDonald is targeting revenge.

"We're all looking forward to the big derby now and a chance to beat the Mackems," he said after Saturday's 2-1 victory over Bolton in which he scored both goals.

"We went there last season in the cup and gave them a scare and we should have won the game - and for me, we're a better team now.

"The dynamics of the team are very different. We've got attacking options now. You look around the changing room and you see players who can create chances and players who can score.

"I'm sure we can be a threat to them. We're going there confident and with real momentum."

O'Neill has hinted he may ring the changes, but 29-year-old McDonald is still expecting a tough encounter.

"They will be strong", he added. "Martin O'Neill has won this cup with Leicester and he will see this as a trophy they have a chance in.

"With respect, the Premier League is not really a competition they can win. They will look at this and think it is their best bet.

"And it is a derby game too so the fans there will demand victory. It'll be tough."

Boro boss Tony Mowbray will run the rule over Jonathan Woodgate and Marvin Emnes.

Defender Woodgate has missed the last two games with a thigh injury while Emnes limped out of Saturday's game with a hamstring problem and both men will face late fitness tests.

Merouane Zemmama is back in training having recovered from a hamstring problem and he is expected to be in the squad.

There are no movements on any of Boro's other injured contingent, with Luke Williams (hip), Kevin Thomson (calf), Rhys Williams (ankle), Lukas Jutkiewicz, Muzzy Carayol and Curtis Main (all knee) still occupying the treatment room.

Boro have a good record in the League Cup having won it in 2004 and finished runners-up in 1997 and 1998.