Boro travel to Anfield tonight, looking to extend their run of three consecutive victories by booking their place in the fourth round of the League Cup.
A number of players will have to perform at the top of their game if Boro want to knock out the top flight giants, and two Chelsea loanees will be looking to make their mark upon the division they are fighting to get in to.
Boro’s leading scorer, central midfielder Leadbitter has netted six goals in eight games to lead his team into the play-off places. A key figure in the middle of the park, four of his strikes have come from the penalty spot, whilst his game-controlling impact is as large as his game-winning impact.
A pass accuracy of 83% highlights his importance in the midfield, with his average of 57.3 passes per game much higher than the second highest in the Boro side. Despite only registering one assist, he has played 23 key passes - an average of 2.9 per game. If the 28-year-old has as large an impact at Anfield as he has for the duration of the season, he will have no trouble in creating chances for his teammates - and maybe even scoring himself.
A regular in the centre of defence since his arrival on Teeside in January, Chelsea youngster Omeruo will be looking to impress against Premier League opposition with the Blues watching on.
Despite starring at the World Cup, a spot at Stamford Bridge was not available, and another loan move to the Riverside Stadium allows the youngster to experience regular first-team football - an opportunity the Nigerian international is taking with both hands. Boro’s second highest rated player on WhoScored, Omeruo has played seven times, making 2.3 tackles, 2.9 interceptions and 4.4 clearances per game. He will be tasked with man marking the incredible Liverpool strike-force, and an impressive performance could prove that he is ready to finally wear a blue shirt.
In the same situation as Omeruo, 21-year-old Chelsea loanee Bamford will be looking to make a mark against top flight opposition, although at the other end of the pitch. Starting his first game of the season on Saturday, Bamford was rewarded with his first goal of the season, and it is likely that he will feature against Liverpool.
Coming off the back of a successful season with MK Dons and Derby County, Bamford has yet to prove himself on the highest stage, and netting at Anfield will allow him to do that. With the porous nature of the Reds defence, playing Liverpool will come at no better time for the young forward, and if he continues his rich goalscoring form he could be the difference maker - leading Boro past Liverpool and into the fourth round.