January’s FA Cup Tees-Wear derby should throw up a better game than the current Championship table suggests – at least based on previous cup meetings.
Here, we look back at the last five knock-out games between Middlesbrough and Sunderland.
Sunderland 0 Middlesbrough 1 – League Cup - 30/10/2012
Championship side Boro reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup in 2012 following Scott McDonald’s winner at the Stadium of Light.
The Teessiders had gone six games against Sunderland without a win, but rose to the occasion to win their fifth game in a row in all competitions.
Tony Mowbray’s side could have scored more, as McDonald hit the bar and Sunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood denied Faris Haroun.
Middlesbrough 1 Sunderland 2 – FA Cup - 8/2/2012
Stephane Sessegnon finally settled this FA Cup tie at the Riverside by bagging the winner in extra-time.
The Benin international sealed the game in the 113th minute to send Martin O’Neill’s side through to the fifth round.
Jack Colback had opened the scoring with a stunning first-half strike before Lukas Jutkiewicz netted the equaliser - but it was Sunderland’s night.
Sunderland 1 Middlesbrough 1 – FA Cup - 29/1/2012
Fraizer Campbell marked a memorable return following an 18-month injury lay-off to earn Sunderland a replay at the Riverside and set up Sessegnon’s extra-time heroics.
Campbell came off the bench in the second half before cancelling out Barry Robson’s accomplished volley.
The Black Cats could have won the tie at this first time of asking, but Craig Gardner’s effort was disallowed for handball.
Middlesbrough 2 Sunderland 0 – League Cup - 15/10/1997
Second-half goals from Andy Campbell and Craig Hignett gave Boro their first victory over Sunderland at the Riverside.
The third round League Cup tie was played to a backdrop of both sides chasing promotion from the second tier, when Peter Reid was in charge of the Black Cats.
Yet it was Bryan Robson’s Boro who progressed to the fourth round of the League Cup before beating Sunderland to second place in the league.
Middlesbrough 2 Sunderland – League Cup - 25/08/1987
Boro needed to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit in the opening round of the 1987 League Cup at Ayresome Park.
The hosts opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time when Bernie Slaven’s spectacular overhead kick looped into the top corner.
Tony Mowbray made it two with a powerful header to send Bruce Rioch’s side into the next round.