After a difficult game against Sunderland on Tuesday, Spurs will be wanting to get their shooting boots on and try to dispatch of 15th place ‘Boro comfortably. Tottenham are returning to White Hart Lane in the Premier League after two draws against Sunderland and Manchester City.
Tale of the Tape:
Since the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, Tottenham have been on a fantastic run of 10 games unbeaten which has seen the Lilywhite’s rising to second position in the Premier League table. Although Spurs failed to score against the Black Cats, it is clear that if Dele Alli and his peers are on form, it can be very hard to stop this Tottenham team.
Middlesbrough – in a vast contrast with Spurs, the newcomers to the Premier League have only gained nine points from their last 10 Premier League games. After 23 match days, Aitor Karanka’s team have found themselves only four places above the relegation zone and they know how crucial a result at White Hart Lane could be to their survival.
Of the last 10 meetings between these two clubs, Tottenham have come out victorious six times while Boro have only won once against the North Londoners. The last meeting did not prove as easy for Mauricio Pochettino’s team as many thought.
A sublime individual performance from Heung-Min Son saw Spurs win 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium. This fixture has created some great matches recently, most notably the 3-3 draw in 2005 where Mido had to rescue Spurs in the 83rd minute.
Tottenham will be missing full-back Danny Rose due to suspected ligament damage suffered in the draw at Sunderland. The 26 year old is feared to be out for up to four weeks which could see him miss the trip to Anfield next week. Jan Vertonghen is still ruled out with an ankle injury but is progressing well.
Hugo Lloris is expected to return to the starting 11 after his illness which saw him left out of the match day squad for the midweek trip to Sunderland.
Kieran Trippier and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou both will miss this one also after their recent injuries suffered against Wycombe Wanderers last weekend.
Erik Lamela continues to miss out despite being back at Hotspur Way – continuing his road to fitness again. Pochettino insists that the Argentine made it clear to him that he wants to stay at Tottenham Hotspur; dismissing the reports of him seeking a move in the summer.
Aitor Karanka will be missing the opportunity of picking either Callum Chambers or Captain George Friend who are both ruled out of the fixture due to injury. However, defender Daniel Ayala is returning from suspension and could feature.
Predicted Tottenham Hotspur XI:
Lloris, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies; Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane
Predicted Middlesbrough XI:
Valdes, Barragan, Gibson, Bernardo, Fabio; De Roon, Clayton, Forshaw; Traore,Negredo, Stuani
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Middlesbrough
After three tough games for Mauricio Pochettino and his team, it is vital that Spurs regain their composure and get the result that could see them potentially move within six points of leaders Chelsea. If Spurs fail to win it could spell the end of the title race as the Blues have the chance to extend the increasingly daunting gap to 12 points. The Spurs team need to focus on their performance alone and do everything they can to get the all-important three points and leave the White Hart Lane happy once again.
Boro’s last win came on the 17th of December against fellow relegation candidates Swansea City, and on the home run that Spurs are in, it is hard to say that Karanka’s men will get the result they also desperately need.