Thursday, March 30, 2023

Middlesbrough Vs Tottenham Hotspur: 3 Key Battles That Could Decide The Outcome

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Middlesbrough will host high flying Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium as they look to avoid their 3rd consecutive defeat. Aitor Karanka will be eager for his side to chalk up their second win after gaining promotion to the league. They have not been outplayed till now but have failed to click overall as a team which will be a cause for concern. Whereas, Tottenham Hotspur are yet to lose a match and have won 3 games while drawing the other two. They were initially slow to get off the blocks but have since then looked threatening and will be a confident lot as they head over to the Riverside Stadium. We take a brief look at the key battles which will have a bearing on the outcome at the end of the 90 minutes.


The former Manchester City player arguably presents the majority of the goal threat from Boro’s point of view. His frame, aligned with his ability to link up with the other attackers always makes him a dangerous prospect for the opposition. The Valencia loanee has cooled down a bit after an encouraging start but can turn things around any moment which will make sure that the likes of Alderweireld and Vertonghen remain alert and don’t give much leeway to the burly Spaniard. Middlesbrough have struggled for goals and Karanka would surely have asked his players to focus on the set-pieces more, as with the likes of Negredo and Friend they would have the presence in the box.


The big money Middlesbrough signing made a comeback after an injury in his very first match and carries the hopes of shoring up their midfield and bringing a dynamic approach in the centre of the field. He is a good tackler and will be up against his midfield counterpart in Mousa Dembele.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Adnan Januzaj of Sunderland (L) is put under pressure from Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur (R) during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland at White Hart Lane on September 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Belgian always likes to venture forward and his close control of the ball along with his dribbling skills and physicality sees him in the advanced areas of the pitch more often than not. His ability to easily beat a man and keep the ball sees an extra man in attack which will invariably lead to an extension of De Roon’s workload.


Mauricio Pochettino moved for the Dutch international in the event of an injury to Harry Kane and he will be called upon to lead the line as early as the sixth game week. Fans will be eager to gauge his impact with the Dutchman expected to be an important cog in Pochettino’s machinery designed for the Spurs team. His link-up play with the likes of Eriksen and Lamela will be of special interest as he will be getting more minutes with Spurs being involved in multiple competitions this season. He will be an unknown commodity for the Premier League and the Boro defence will be wary of the threat they will be facing.

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