Middlesbrough vs Tottenham: Match Preview and predicted line-ups
Middlesbrough will be aiming to get their first home win of the season, against one of the in-form teams in the league Tottenham Hotspur.
The home side are coming into the game on the back of a 3-1 league defeat to Everton, and sit currently 13th with five points and only one win this season, against rivals Sunderland. Boro will be wanting to avoid three league defeats in a row.
Meanwhile Spurs come into this match as hot favourites. They currently sit in third after two league wins in a row, and an unbeaten start to the season. A 5-0 demolishing of Gillingham in the EFL Cup only showed their squad depth further.
A 1-0 win over Sunderland was their last league result, and a consequence of that game is that they will have to play this fixture without their main striker Harry Kane, after he suffered a leg injury.
This is the first time these two have met in the league since the 2008/09 season, in which the home sides were victorious in both matches. Boro managed a 2-1 win in August 2008, but Spurs replied with a 4-0 win in March 09, with goals from Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and two from Aaron Lennon.
Middlesbrough Tottenham Hotspur
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Middlesbrough should have no new concerns, although Aitor Karanka will have a difficult choice over his attackers after Nsue and Ramirez were both disappointing last weekend.
As for Spurs, Danny Rose should be fit to start the game, allowing Spurs to go back to their normal back-line. Eric Dier should come back into midfield, Son will keep his place after impressing, and Eric Lamela will probably come in for Moussa Sissoko. Vincent Janssen is expected to lead the line in Kane’s absence.
If Spurs are to be title-challengers again, this is a game they will need to be winning. They should win as well, looking at the form of both sides. Boro will need the home support to be on top of their game if they are to get anything, but it looks more likely to be a struggle as it was last week against Everton. Expect a comfortable Spurs win and a couple of goals for Janssen too. A 1-4 win for Spurs looks likely, and their march up the table is set to continue.
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