Friday, March 24, 2017

Prediction: Tottenham vs Middlesbrough


Verdict: Home win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: William Hill

After missing another opportunity to close the gap behind leaders Chelsea, Tottenham face a must-win game this weekend if they want to keep their title hopes alive. Boro head into the Spurs clash following the busy transfer deadline day and yet another draw that pushed them even closer to the bottom three.

Tottenham

For the second season running, Spurs have mounted a serious title challenge and no wonder the fans and pundits alike have been impressed with Mauricio Pochettino and his side. It’s been a while since Tottenham last were able to consistently match the best teams in the league, but the White Hart Lane outfit now need to try and win the elusive third top-flight trophy or else chances are they will be forgotten down the line. Tottenham fans have been waiting for the league title 56 years and while Spurs did well to climb to second in the standings, it appears as though they will again come short. While Mauricio Pochettino’s charges did well to come back from two goals down and earn a draw with Manchester City, they should have done better in the goalless draw against Sunderland, failing to profit from Chelsea’s stalemate at Anfield. Spurs, therefore, remained nine points behind the league leaders and there are no doubts they will be under pressure when they take on relegation-threatened Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon. But, having won last nine fixtures at White Hart Lane, scoring 28 and conceding 7 goals in the process, they have rightly been made strong favourites here.

Team News

Ben Davies is set to deputise for Danny Rose after the England international picked up a knee injury, while Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela remain sidelined.

Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough have enjoyed a very successful spell under Aitor Karanka and everything suggests the good times are set to continue. From the very start to the season, Boro have looked every bit like the team that deserve to be playing at this level, and even though they are now close to the relegation zone, we seriously doubt they will go down. The Spanish tactician was hoping to bring few more quality players in the dying moments of the January window and even though he missed out on several targets, Karanka added Adlene Guedioura to his ranks. With Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede joining earlier, Boro now look well equipped for the difficult relegation tussle and they can take a lot of positives from their performance in the 1-1 draw against high-flying West Bromwich. Middlesbrough had dominated the encounter from start to finish, despite missing key midfielder Gaston Ramirez, who is now set to return to the squad. Boro are now set to face a difficult game against star-studded Spurs side, but they will certainly make the hosts work hard for the win.

Team News

Gaston Ramirez should return to the side after he was surprisingly deemed unfit for the visit of West Brom, which is going to be a huge boost for the visitors.

George Friend is unlikely to return from a calf problem, while Calum Chambers continues to miss out. New signings Patrick Bamford and Adlene Guedioura are pushing for starting places.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Spurs won last nine matches at home
  • Boro are winless in last 11 away fixtures (D6 L5)
  • Tottenham won six of last ten matches vs Boro (D3 L1)
  • Both teams scored in seven of their last nine meetings
  • Son scored both goals in Spurs’ 2-1 win over Boro in September

Conclusion

Spurs have been pretty impressive at their White Hart Lane of late and we do expect them to return to winning ways, but we are also backing Boro to score. Aitor Karanka’s side are in a good shape after the promising showing against West Brom and they will also have key playmaker Gaston Ramirez back to the side.

Verdict: Home win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: William Hill

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