Last time out in the Premier League, Spurs ground out a narrow 1-0 victory (over Sunderland) with alarm bells ringing out loud over injuries to Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele. Whilst Kane is definitely out with an ankle injury, manager Mauricio Pochettino will take a late decision on the fitness of Dier, Dembele and Danny Rose (suffering from a hamstring injury picked up on international duty).
In mid-week, Pochettino completely changed things around and ended up with a competent 5-0 drubbing of League One club Gillingham in the EFL Cup, with Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela showing good form. If we assume that the aforementioned doubtful starters are all rested for the visit to Middlesbrough, what would be the likely outcome?
Boro are currently in 13th position, having only won one match (a 2-1 win at Sunderland) and significantly, have lost their last two PL games (to Crystal Palace and Everton) and thus would need to get back on track in this fixture. Spurs would need to be at their best in order to gain maximum points but of course, Pochettino also needs to be mindful of the midweek trip in Moscow for the Champions League tie against CSKA.
Thus, we believe that Pochettino will not risk the recovering players and will select a team that he will hope will do the job at the Riverside, with Rose, Dier and Dembele to return in the CL.
Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Wanyama, Alli, Son, Eriksen, Lamela, Janssen.
Spurs to win 1-0.
… still there’s more …