Middlesbrough will host high flying Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium as they look to avoid their 3rd consecutive defeat. The Teesiders got off to a positive start after a 7-years sabbatical from the Premier League as they drew their first match against Stoke City before going on to defeat local rivals Sunderland in their 2nd match.
They played out a goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion before suffering back to back defeats against Crystal Palace and Everton. Aitor Karanka will look to avoid another defeat as that can further lead to a string of defeats which will nullify all the advantages yielded from a fruitful transfer window. They will have a mountain to climb against the Spurs and Karanka will look to bring the familiar steel we had come to expect from the Middlesbrough side which gained promotion in the first place. The likes of Alvaro Negredo and Gaston Ramirez will have an important role to play as they will strive to unlock the formidable defence of their opposition.
Their last home match against Spurs was way back in 2008 which Boro had won 2-1 and although things have changed a lot since then, they would be aiming for a similar sort of a score line and look to cause an upset.
T4O’s PREDICTED MIDDLESBROUGH LINE-UP VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-2-3-1)
Victor Valdes will once again take up his position between the sticks and will in all likelihood have an extremely busy day. Antonio Barragan is expected to be at right-back with a central defensive pairing of Gibson and Ayala although the manager could spring a surprise with Chambers drafted into the starting eleven. George Friend will line-up at left-back.
Marten de Roon has recovered from his injury and will carry on his settling into the squad as he will be an important part of shoring up the midfield. Adam Clayton is rated as a doubt with a knock and in case of his absence, Adam Forshaw will partner the summer signing in the double pivot. Gaston Ramirez will look to rediscover the sparkling form from last season and will be instrumental in unlocking the defence.
Stewart Downing is likely to be preferred on the left-wing and his experience will be needed to nullify the combined force of Lamela and Walker on the flank. There are options on the right with the likes of Stuani and Traore competing for a start. Fischer is also an option while Alvaro Negredo will be leading the line.