Hull City will be wary of a potential banana skin in their FA Cup third-round tie against a resurgent Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Steve Bruce's charges have prospered after returning to the Premier League, collecting 23 points from 20 matches to sit 10th in the table.
However, Hull can expect a stern challenge from a Middlesbrough side who have looked revitalised in the last month under Aitor Karanka.
The former Real Madrid assistant manager took the reins at the Riverside Stadium in November, after Tony Mowbray had paid the price for a poor run of results in 2013.
Middlesbrough head into this weekend's game unbeaten in four league games, having won three in a row prior to surrendering a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers on New Year's Day.
Although Karanka's men sit 15th in the Championship, they are only six points adrift of the play-off positions.
Neither Middlesbrough or Hull have won the FA Cup, although the former reached the final in 1997 before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Hull make the journey to Middlesbrough having won just one of their last seven league matches.
Yet that victory proved a hugely convincing one as Fulham were thumped 6-0 at the KC Stadium last weekend.
Bruce was keen to rest players for the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on New Year's Day, which capped a hectic end-of-year schedule, but acknowledges he simply does not have the necessary depth in his squad.
"You ask yourself whether you could have freshened it up and made five or six changes but we've not got that luxury yet," he said.
"We can't afford to do it. Overall, the squad and their attitude is great."
Middlesbrough and Hull last met in the FA Cup seven years ago, also at the third-round stage.
After a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium, Middlesbrough progressed courtesy of a 4-3 triumph in the resulting replay.
for E. Ledesma 45'
for L. Williams 45'
for M. Emnes 83'
|Sanchez reveals gruesome update of ankle injury|
|Ronaldo: We all feel abandoned by retiring Messi|
|Ibrahimovic arrival makes Manchester the ´capital of football´ - Vieira|
|Del Bosque: I sent a message to the whole squad, except Casillas|
|USA to play first friendly against Cuba since 1947|
|Poland boss praises Lewandowski after Euro 2016 exit|
|Fonte: United will regret missing out on Sanches|
|Santos: Portugal should have had a penalty|
|Ranieri: English football is not in crisis|
|Ronaldo dreaming of Euro 2016 glory|
|Nawalka: Poland should be proud of Euro 2016 exploits|
|Santos: Goalless Ronaldo was immense for Portugal|
|No player out of reach for Chinese Super League - chief|
|Fearless Sanches had no nerves in dramatic shootout|
|Portugal through despite Ronaldo off-night|
|´Very happy´ Neymar drops contract hint|
|Poland 1 Portugal 1 (aet, 3-5 pens): Heartbreak for Blaszczykowski as Santos´ men sneak into the sem|
|Del Bosque to resign from Spain role|
|Giggs can be a manager in his own right, insists Round|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Wails for Bale, a grumpy water carrier and the inevitable return of Will Grigg|
|Manchester United agree Galatasaray friendly|
|Hazard must bloom into bona-fide superstar as Eden project comes full circle|
|Hazard excited by ´world class´ Ibrahimovic in the Premier League|
|Hazard determined to make his mark on Lille return|
|Special One and Zlatan: United´s match made in heaven or gamble from hell?|
|Vertonghen to miss rest of Euro 2016 due to torn ankle ligaments|
|Conte has helped me a lot, admits grateful De Sciglio|
|Juve pay tribute to departing Caceres|
|Williams banking on ´band of brothers´ to stop Hazard|
|No lack of desire with England - Lampard|
|Germany v Italy: Kroos calls on Khedira knowledge for Azzurri test|
|Coleman welcomes pressure of ´biggest game since 1958´|
|Ibrahimovic claims he will join Manchester United|
|Sevilla receive ´big offer´ for Krychowiak|
|Bartra seeks to justify Dortmund´s trust|
|Montella vows to bring the good times back to AC Milan|
|Bournemouth bring in striker Mousset|
|Barca confirm Umtiti fee agreed|
|Puel takes charge at Southampton|
|Hulk completes €55.8m Shanghai SIPG switch|
|Bruce focused on Hull and pursuing transfer targets|
|Sinclair agrees Watford move|
|Janssen wants AZ to accept Spurs offer|
|Bartomeu claims five-year Neymar deal imminent|
|Reluctant father figure Evra defends Pogba|
|Boateng declares himself fit to face Italy|
|73 goals, 44 assists: The stats that show why Man Utd want Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan|
|Conte has made Italy proud again – Vieri|
|Evra pledges to respect Iceland after England shock|
|Vrba leaves Czech Republic for Anzhi|
|Bernstein backs Allardyce for England job|
|Rodgers rejects England talk|
|Klose lauds ´unbelievable´ Italy|
|Muller confident Italy´s defence can be breached|
|´Lineker does not know what he is talking about´ - Raiola defends Pogba|
|Morrison opts to stay with West Brom|
|Kempes expects Messi to return to international football|
|´Leave Messi alone!´ - Maradona|
|Evra suffers training injury|
|Iceland´s Viking chant terrified England - Shilton|
|Ballack doubts Italy can repeat Spain performance|
|Caparros hoping Del Bosque continues as Spain coach|
|Falcao targeting Ligue 1 top scorer award|
|Maradona: England continue to be over-hyped|
|Santos: You talk about Ronaldo because he is great|
|James Rodriguez is an ´average player´ - Stoichkov|
|Mooy moves from Melbourne to Manchester City|
|Copa America champions Chile set to face Euro 2016 winner|
|Guardiola ´relaxed´ ahead of renewing Mourinho rivalry|
|Simeone on post-Champions League final comments: I spoke heatedly|
|Skrtel pins blame on friend after Klopp ´d***´ slur|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Medals for Irish fans and Blaszczykowski inspires Wimbledon triumph|
|Bale is slightly better than Hazard, admits Lukaku|
|Argentina make Simeone approach, jokes Atleti president|
|Mamelodi Sundowns 2 Enyimba 1: Arendse nets winner in Group B clash|
|Wilmots confirms Batshuayi medical ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Santos insists no favourite in Portugal-Poland tie despite Ronaldo presence|
|Celtic is the best place for me to be, insists Dembele|
|Lagerback: I don´t think I will take a job like England|
|Umtiti has ´exclusive agreement´ to join Barcelona|
|Milik putting Ronaldo worship to one side for 90 minutes|
|Only losers make excuses, insists Florenzi|
|Nawalka: We must not focus solely on Ronaldo|
|Hamsik: Bayern offer reports are nonsense|
|Injured De Rossi a major doubt to face Germany|
|Wales will not be a stepping stone for Belgium - Bale|
|Lyon add Nkoulou as Barcelona close in on Umtiti|
|Neymar, Rafinha and Douglas Costa named in Brazil´s Olympics squad|
|Goalless Lewandowski should look to Ronaldo for inspiration|
|Mane has cost Liverpool far too much - Thompson|
|Bilic not interested in England job, says Gold|
|Hummels hopes Gomez can break through impressive Italy defence|
|Gerrard: England gripped by a ´culture of fear´|
|Bournemouth sign Chelsea´s Ake on season-long loan|
|Iceland emulating Leicester City would delight Hallgrimsson|
|Chelsea could still sign Pato permanently, says agent|
|Wales v Belgium: Wilmots will not man-mark Bale in quarter-final clash|
|Genoa seal Ocampos capture|
|Fuchs retires from Austria duty|
|Bundesliga fixtures: Bayern begin title defence against Werder Bremen|
|Bordeaux complete Toulalan signing|
|Suarez confident Messi will return for Argentina|
|´England players did not know what to do´ - Lineker critical of Hodgson|
|Dybala turned down ´€80m Barcelona move´|
|Emery a big loss for Sevilla, says Baptista|
|Valencia: ICC derby more than a friendly|
|Defoe: Allardyce ready for England|
|Wales defend celebrations after England´s Euro 2016 elimination|
|Rooney: Next England manager doesn´t have to be English|
|Mascherano set for Barca stay|
|Carragher suggests Klinsmann as England boss, dismisses Shearer|
|Glik confirms Monaco move|
|Australia to face Japan in Melbourne|
|Galliani: Montella gives Milan a fresh start|
|We must take care of Messi - Argentina president|
|England players ´babies´ and soft - Carragher|
|Higuain unlikely to renew Napoli contract - agent|
|Hart: Tough job for next England boss|
|Nani to join Valencia, confirms Fener president|
|Glenn: Man, woman or caretaker for England|
|Skrtel´s Fenerbahce move ´almost done´|
|Al Ahly 1 ASEC Mimosas 2: Jol´s men beaten again|