Warren Joyce's champions won at Southampton in a first outing of 2014 but still face a long battle to climb the table given the number of fixtures in hand on most of the other clubs. The return of several loanees has presented the Reserves coach with a large squad again containing plenty of options.
The need to give game time to the more experienced figures will be balanced by the desire to blood members of the Under-19 squad that competed in the UEFA Youth League. Jesse Lingard scored at Southampton, with a contender for Goal of the Month, but has been in and around the first-team squad of late and might not feature with the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Sunderland on the horizon.
Boro currently sit in 17th place in the table, eight places below United, but defeated Arsenal 3-1 in their last outing. The Teessiders also have been involved in some high-scoring games and it should be an entertaining affair in front of the live MUTV cameras.
Tickets: Entry is free for United Season Ticket Holders, Members and any fans aged under 16. All other supporters can buy tickets priced £3 at AJ Bell Stadium.