English Premier League Preview – Middlesbrough vs Tottenham Hotspur Prediction – Sept 24, 2016 – Riverside Stadium
Although Tottenham are in the 3rd spot on the EPL table, their journey so far hasn't been one of great confidence.
Apart from a thumping 4-0 win over Stoke City, the rest of the matches have either been tame draws or solitary goal wins. Plus a disappointing UEFA Champions League 1-2 loss at home to Monaco to boot.
Their tally of goals so far in the Premier League is just eight which is lower than 9th placed Watford's ten. To add to their striking worries is the injury to Harry Kane's ankle; not that the 23-year scorer has been in his usual form this season. His sole Premier League goal coming in a lackluster 1-0 win over Sunderland.
Vincent Janssen, Mauricio Pochettino's £17 million new acquisition has not lived up to expectations in his role of a striker and is yet to find the back of the net from his three outings for the club.
Come Saturday's League clash against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, Pochettino will have to rely on the enterprise and creativity of Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min to get him goals. Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko will as usual add teeth to the midfield. Hugo Lloris will be the automatic choice of goalkeeper and Tottenham conceding just two goals (which is the lowest for all teams in the EPL). This from their 5 Premier League games is testimony to the Frenchman's brilliance between the posts.
Middlesbrough's 43-year old Spanish coach Aitor Karanka, is also having to deal with a spate of injuries going into Saturday's clash with Spurs.
Jordan Rhodes and Cristhian Stuani, two of Boro's key strikers could be out of action and so could be their veteran midfielder, Adam Clayton. Skipper Grant Leadbitter, James Husband and Fabio da Silva (both defenders) are undergoing treatment for various injuries.
Latest reports indicate that most of these injury issues could get resolved before match date which is good news for Middlesbrough. The pressures of having to play in the Premier League after a gap of seven seasons is beginning to tell. But they can definitely take heart from the 13th spot on the Premier League Table currently with one win and two draws to their credit.
Nevertheless, few give Middlesbrough a chance at Riverside against Spurs despite raucous home support. Odds heavily favor the visitors for the September 24 clash.