Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur: Looking for the FA Cup to Salvage a Season

middlesbroughFollowing a difficult few weeks in the league, Spurs are now back in FA Cup action on Tuesday night as they aim for the one piece of silverware which remains in their grasp.

Standing in Tottenham’s way are a Middlesbrough side who reached the fifth round of the competition after knocking out Manchester United last time around. The Championship club won’t be fearful of another set of Premier League opposition, particularly when they take a look at our recent run of form.

The Spurs rollercoaster is in full flow as we follow a 1-0 midweek defeat at Burnley by a 4-0 victory away to Leeds United. We’re not moaning, honestly, but it would be nice to start adding in some consistent performances.

Team News

There’s a short turnaround between Saturday lunchtime and Tuesday night so we’re having to compile this preview before any confirmed reports come in. Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga will remain doubtful while the Burnley game also added Lucas Moura and Rodrigo Bentancur to the physio’s room.

With the added possibility of Antonio Conte making changes to the regular league line up, it’s a tough one to predict and this is one of those occasions where you should follow the club’s official website and social media channels for more substantial updates.

Match Odds

Tottenham are clear favourites ahead of the trip to the Riverside and the win in 90 minutes can be claimed at best odds of 8/11 with BetFred and Betway. The draw is next up at a top price of 3/1 with Betway again while a win for Middlesbrough can be claimed at a best of 4/1 with Unibet.

Our own patchy form is well documented but what about that of our opponents? Boro are in eighth place in the Championship coming into this match and are currently just two points off the playoff places. They’ve picked up ten points in their last six so the form guide hints at a tough contest on a cold Tuesday night in the North East.

Side Markets

Who are the players who can change the destiny of this fixture? You’ll need to follow team news closely if you want to get involved with the first goalscorer market but Harry Kane will start as favourite top open the scoring at 29/10 with 888Sport.

Following on are Son Heung-Min at 5/1 with Unibet while Steven Bergwijn is a 6/1 shot with Ladbrokes and Coral. The first representative from within the Middlesbrough camp is Andraz Sporar at 8/1 with Betway. Sporar is a Slovenian international striker on loan from Sporting Lisbon and he has eight goals in 27 matches for Chris Wilder’s side so far this season.

harry kane tottenham spurs

Harry Kane

Other options to open the scoring from within the Spurs’ dressing room include Dejan Kulusevski at 17/2 with BetFred and 888Sport, Lucas Moura at 9/1 with Coral and Pierre-Emile Hojberg at 14/1 with Ladbrokes.

Away from the player bets, Both Teams to Score is on offer at best odds of 4/5 with BetFred. If you wanted to take ‘No’ on BTTS, this will extend to 21/20 with MansionBet and SportNation.

Over in the Total Goals section, you can go Above the 2.5 line where you will find odds of 4/5 with Unibet and MansionBet. A push up to Over 3.5 goals currently brings 43/20 with Unibet once again but if you are expecting a low scorer and want to go Under the 2.5 line, you can claim Even Money with MansionBet.

That just leaves us with some Correct Score suggestions and, if you think extra time and potential penalties are needed to sort this one, you can claim the 1-1 draw at 25/4 with 10Bet. A comfortable night for Spurs could lead to the club’s third 3-1 win in succession and this is on offer at 13/1 with VBet. Finally, the neutrals and more pessimistic Spurs supporters could consider the 2-1 home win at 14/1 with Coral.

Remember, all of those figures are for the result in 90 minutes and would exclude any extra time / penalties.

The Road to Wembley

Spurs are in the fifth round of the competition after two consecutive 3-1 home wins. Morecambe were the first to be despatched but that particular victory was far from straightforward. 1-0 down into the second period, some late substitutions were needed in order to turn things around.

Against Brighton in the fourth round, we secured another 3-1 win but Tottenham’s passage was somewhat easier this time around. Goals from Harry Kane and Emerson Royal put us 2-0 up on 24 minutes and, although Yves Bissouma pulled one back mid-way through the second half, Harry extended the advantage three minutes later.

As for Middlesborough, Wilder’s team were pushed all the way by League Two outfit Mansfield Town in the third round. Boro had raced into a two-goal lead after 14 minutes but were pegged back to 2-2 deep into the second half. They needed an own goal in the final minute of normal time in order to progress.

Waiting for Middlesbrough were Manchester United at Old Trafford and we should all know what happened next. A 1-1 draw in normal time gave way to that dramatic penalty shootout where Boro came through 8-7. United had made some changes that day but still included the likes of Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo so it was an impressive effort on behalf of the Championship team and one that suggests they won’t be scared of Tottenham on Tuesday night.

Verdict

tottenhamMuch could depend on the team that Antonio Conte sends out for this game. We saw against Morecambe in the third round that the second string can’t really be trusted and that we simply can’t be complacent when facing lower ranked clubs.

We’re going to focus on the team goals betting here: It’s hard to second guess the starting line up although we suspect that Antonio will send out a strong side as this is our only remaining chance of silverware.

Across their last six matches, which include the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, Boro have scored 12 goals. They’ve conceded ten and Both Teams to Score would have landed in each of those six games.

We’ll therefore start with BTTS as Spurs continue to look vulnerable at the back and we suspect that the home side will come at us. For similar reasons, we’ll add in Over 3.5 goals at reasonable odds of 43/20.

Those are our two suggestions: They won’t make you rich but who cares if Spurs score the majority of those goals and enjoy a comfortable passage into the quarter finals.

Best Bets

  • Both Teams to Score at 4/5 with BetFred
  • Over 3.5 Goals at 43/20 with Unibet

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