Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to advance in the FA Cup when they take on Middlesbrough in their third round replay on Tuesday night.
Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to return to winning ways when they lock horns with EFL Championship outfit Middlesbrough at home for their FA Cup third round replay this week.
Tottenham are without a win in their last four matches in all competitions (D2 L2), that includes the 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough in their first FA Cup fixture of the season. Their most recent fixture ended in a 1-0 defeat to Premier League leaders Liverpool. Manager Jose Mourinho will be keen on getting things back on track and lead his team into the next round of the cup competition.
Middlesbrough, on the other hand, have not lost even once in their last six games in all competitions (W4 D2). Things have been improving for the Riverside outfit following a difficult start under manager Jonathan Woodgate and having put in an impressive performance in the last cup tie, they will be backing themselves to cause an upset at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Ahead of this crunch clash between Spurs and Boro on Tuesday night, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
There are no fresh injury concerns for Jose Mourinho to contend with. However, Tottenham will once again go in without the services of captain Hugo Lloris and star striker Harry Kane while Moussa Sissoko, Ben Davies and Tanguy Ndombele will also miss out.
Youngster Japhet Tanganga, who made his debut against Liverpool, is set to feature again at right-back. Toby Alderweireld will be rested for the game, with Juan Foyth likely to get a look-in alongside Davinson Sanchez at the heart of the Tottenham defence. Jan Vertonghen should come in at left-back at the expense of Danny Rose.
Eric Dier ought to return to the side to fortify Spurs’ midfield after not starting against Liverpool. Christian Eriksen is set to feature against Middlesbrough, the manager has confirmed. Dele Alli should complete the three-man midfield unit for Tottenham and provide the forward thrust.
With no Harry Kane in the ranks, there is a strong possibility that Mourinho could use Son Heung-min through the middle. Lucas Moura, who scored the equaliser against Middlesbrough last time out, ought to feature on the right flank while youngster Ryan Sessegnon is likely to get an opportunity on the left.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gazzaniga; Tanganga, Foyth, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Eriksen, Dier, Alli; Moura, Son, Sessegnon
Woodgate has a pretty lengthy injury list heading into the game. Middlesbrough will be without Ryan Shotton, George Friend, Anfernee Dijksteel, Daniel Ayala, Britt Assombalonga and Darren Randolph for the trip to London.
Tomas Mejias made his only appearance of the season in the last game against Tottenham and is likely to get another game in goal on Tuesday night. There are unlikely to be any changes in the three-man backline, with Jonathan Howson lining up at the back again along with Paddy McNair and Dael Fry.
Youngsters Djed Spence and Hayden Coulson ought to line up as the wing-backs on the right and left sides, respectively and look to provide width going forward for the Teessiders. George Saville will hold the fort in the centre of the park and will be partnered by Lewis Wing, who scored in the 2-2 draw against Derby County last time out.
On-loan Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts will slot in as one of the two attacking midfielders and look to cause problems to the Spurs backline with his pace. The second spot should fall to 20-year-old Marcus Tavernier, who will work in tandem with Roberts to create chances for striker Ashley Fletcher, who scored the only goal for Boro against Spurs last time out.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Mejias; Howson, McNair, Fry; Spence, Wing, Saville, Coulson; Roberts, Tavernier; Fletcher
- Tottenham have not lost even once in their last nine home meetings against Middlesbrough in all competitions, although they were beaten in a penalty shootout in a League Cup tie in 2003 during this run.
- Middlesbrough have not kept a clean sheet in their previous twelve fixtures against Tottenham across all competitions. The last time they managed a shut-out against the North Londoners was way back in May 2005.
- Tottenham have won each of their last six home matches in the FA Cup, scoring 23 goals in that run while conceding just four. The last time they were defeated at home in the competition was in February 2016 against Crystal Palace.
- Middlesbrough have been beaten in their previous two away clashes in the FA Cup. The last time they lost three in a row on the road was in January 1985.
- Since a defeat to Nottingham Forest back in 1975, Tottenham have not lost an FA Cup home game against a team from the lower divisions – a run of 40 games (W33 D7).
Player to Watch
With Harry Kane sidelined, the bulk of the goalscoring responsibility will fall on the South Korean. Son has made a decent start to the season, scoring 10 goals and setting up 9 more in 25 matches across all competitions so far. However, the 27-year-old had a forgetful outing against Liverpool last time out, missing a number of decent chances that one would expect him to score.
Having failed to produce the goods at the weekend, Son will be keen on making amends. And Tottenham will need him to be firing on all cylinders if they are to end their recent rut and return to winning ways soon.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Middlesbrough
Tottenham are in a spot of bother, having managed to win just one of their last six matches in all competitions. In contrast, Middlesbrough are on a bit of a resurgent run, and have lost just one of their last nine fixtures, making up for an enticing contest when these two sides clash against each other on Tuesday night.
The Championship outfit gave a very good account of themselves last time out and will once again push Tottenham, who are bound to feel the effects of Harry Kane’s absence, to the limits. However, Jose Mourinho’s side has enough quality within their ranks to turn things around, which is why we at The Hard Tackle are predicting them to progress to the next round.