Newly-promoted Middlesbrough faces a tough test this weekend when they take on Tottenham Hotspur in an intriguing English Premier League clash at home at Riverside Stadium. The kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th with Spurs trying to remain undefeated early in the 2016/17 campaign. Tottenham enters the game after beating League One side Gillingham 5-0 at home in the English League Cup on Wednesday. Middlesbrough was knocked out of the competition on August 24th when they were beaten 2-1 in London by Fulham.
Middlesbrough vs Tottenham Hotspur – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Tottenham as favorites to win the game at +106 with Middlesbrough +104 and a draw at +249
Middlesbrough vs Tottenham Hotspur – Head to Head:
These two clubs last met in the 2008/09 season with Middlesbrough winning 2-1 at home in August of 2008 and Tottenham winning 4-0 at home in March of 2009. The teams have met 91 times in the past with Middlesbrough winning 35, losing 33 and drawing the other 23. Middlesbrough has won just two of the last 11 encounters with six losses and three draws.
Middlesbrough – A Closer Look:
Middlesbrough has just five points on the season after five games with a win, a pair of draws and two losses. They’ve scored five goals and allowed seven against. Their last outing resulted in a 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Everton last Saturday and the loss dropped them to 13th place. Everton was up 3-1 by halftime with goals from Gareth Barry in the 24th minute, Seamus Coleman in the 24th and Romelu Lukaku in injury time. Middlesbrough had jumped into an early lead as Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was charged with an own goal in the 21st minute. Middlesbrough has a relatively healthy squad although midfielder Grant Leadbitter is still on the shelf until Christmas.
Tottenham Hotspur – A Closer Look:
Tottenham, along with league-leading Manchester City and second-place Everton, is one of three unbeaten teams so far this season. They enter the weekend in third place after earning their 11th point of the season with a 1-0 home triumph over Sunderland last Sunday. The London side now has three wins and two draws this year with eight goals scored and a league-low two against. Last year’s Golden Boot winner Harry Kane scored the only goal of the contest against Sunderland in the 59th minute. It was Kane’s second goal of the season and second in two games.
Unfortunately for Tottenham, Kane, who led the league with 25 goals last season, suffered ligament damage to his ankle during the game and is expected to be out of action for the next two months. The injury comes just as the English international striker was rounding into form. English international defender Danny Rose is expected back in the squad this weekend while fellow defender Mousa Dembele has returned from a suspension. Spurs’ fans will also be happy to know that young English international midfielder Dele Alli has signed a six-year contract extension until June of 2022.
Middlesbrough vs Tottenham Hotspur – Takeaway:
Tottenham is a legitimate title challenger this year and will have to beat the likes of Middlesbrough to prove it. Middlesbrough will be happy just to stay out of the relegation zone this season and guarantee themselves at least one more year in the Premier League by doing so.
by Ian S. Palmer