Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Middlesbrough
Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, February 4 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Spurs 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – Middlesbrough 11/1
Tottenham welcome Middlesbrough to White Hart Lane for Saturday’s late Premier League game with the hosts looking for three more vital points to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Spurs enter the weekend in second place, although the result of the early kickoff between Chelsea and Arsenal will have major implications on this contest and Tottenham know they must be prepared to take advantage of dropped points from at least one of their two London rivals.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side had to settle for a frustrating 0-0 draw at Sunderland during the midweek round of fixtures, but Spurs haven’t failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for almost two years, so they will expect to rediscover their goalscoring form here.
The Lilywhites are unbeaten at home this season and have won six in a row at White Hart Lane so Middlesbrough know they are right up against it ahead of what looks to be a one-sided tie.
Aitor Karanka’s men have struggled for goals all season. They have scored just 19 times in the league so far, the lowest tally of anyone and that is proving to be their biggest problem.
They are a tight unit at the other end of the field and have the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table. But they are only two points above the drop heading into the weekend and need to start picking up more wins if they are to retain their Premier League status.
Middlesbrough haven’t won away from home since August but would happily settle for a point here in what should be a hard-fought battle.
Spurs remain without Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela, while Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is also ruled out. Danny Rose is likely to miss out after limping off against Sunderland on Tuesday, while the same applies to Heung-Min Son and Kieran Trippier, who are both struggling with knocks.
Middlesbrough will be without George Friend and Calum Chambers for the trip to London, while Gaston Ramirez is looking unlikely to be passed fit in time to feature. Aitor Karanka could name an unchanged side to the team that drew 1-1 with West Brom on Tuesday evening.
Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/D/D
Middlesbrough’s last five: L/D/D/L/D
Key Stat: Spurs have won their last six Premier League home games, conceding just three goals in that time. They are looking to win seven in a row at White Hart Lane for the first time in 11 years.
Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham frontman has yet to play against Middlesbrough in the Premier League but he will be relishing the prospect after netting a hat-trick in Spurs’ last home league game against West Brom three weeks ago. He has 13 goals for the season – more than Boro have managed in total in their last 16 league outings.
Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough – Middlesbrough have the third best defensive record away from home in the Premier League and will set up to make it very difficult for Spurs to break them down. However, the home side are desperate for three points to stay in the title race and should have enough quality to edge past a resilient but low-scoring Boro team.