Right-back raider Stephen Kelly and Boro's tricky left winger Stewart Downing have both underlined their undoubted potential in the Barclays Premiership this season and both could have key roles to play in the big one at the Riverside.
Republic of Ireland Under-21 skipper 'Steo' has got better and better as the season has progressed and has added a potent attacking threat to his all-round game - scoring twice in recent weeks against Birmingham City and Aston Villa.
Downing, 20, made a storming start to the season with four goals in his opening nine matches and his consistency was rewarded with his first full England cap against Holland in February.
"He's been inspirational for Middlesbrough this season," said Stephen. "He's played so well and has broke into the England squad. Once again, it's good opposition for me to come up against and the chance to prove myself again.
"It will be a challenge. He's a player who will be direct, try and get at me and get crosses in. He's an out-and-out winger and that's something you don't come across that much. I'll have to be on my toes and ready for him.
"Myself and Simon Davies will always try to force the issue though, try to push their players back and get them on the back foot as much as possible. Away from home it's difficult but we'll try to impose our game on them.
"It's a huge game for the club but everyone is confident."
Two of the young finds of the season could come face-to-face at Middlesbrough on Saturday.