Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says he is well aware of the importance of the FA Cup and will play the best XI available to him for their game against Sheffield Wednesday.

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The last time the two sides met at the Riverside Boro came out on top with a 1-0 victory on route to gaining promotion back to The Premier League.

But despite the league difference this time around, Karanka won’t be taking Sheffield Wednesday lightly.

“They have players to play really well away and at home.” Karanka said.

“They caused us problems last year and they will this year as well.

“They’re a good team with a good coach and experienced players.”

Karanka knows he will need his best team out to advance in the competition, but he does have injury worries ahead of the game, he said:  “I don’t have a lot of players to rotate.”

“I need to check because we have a few players who I don’t know if they can play.”

“We will play the best XI because I know how important the competition is and we want to do well.”

Rudy Gestede this week signed from Aston Villa, but could the striker make his debut for the club? When Karanka was asked about the possibility of the Benin international making his debut, he responded: “I don’t know, I need to think.

“I don’t think he’ll start from beginning.”

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Wednesday have injury worries of their own following Kieran Lee being ruled out until the end of the season.

Former Middlesbrough man Adam Reach could play against Boro for the first time since leaving the club in the summer.

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