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Middlesbrough vs Tottenham – Match Preview

Tottenham sit in third, four points off of league leaders Manchester City and have only dropped points to the two Merseyside clubs so far. They will look to continue their unbeaten run as they travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday without their talisman Harry Kane.

Kane rolled his ankle late on against Sunderland and was in very obvious discomfort as he was eventually stretched off much to the concern of not only Mauricio Pochettino but all the Tottenham fans watching in attendance or on TV. For the first time in two seasons the North London side will have to make do with a prolonged absence of the England international. The question now is how will they cope without him.

The key decision for Pochettino will be whether to start summer signing Vincent Janssen or go with Heung-min Son through the middle, the South Korean can play in that role after being utilised there with some success during his time at previous club Bayer Leverkusen.

Janssen will more than likely get the nod after scoring his first goal for the club on Wednesday as Tottenham cruised to a 5-0 win over Gillingham in the EFL Cup. With Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela both playing behind Janssen and also getting on the score sheet then you would have to imagine that the setup was designed as a rehearsal for this afternoon.

Tottenham may have only beaten Sunderland 1-0 last Sunday but had it not been for Jordan Pickford’s performance in goal for Sunderland then it could have quite easily been half a dozen. Although it was an impressive display from Tottenham they do perhaps need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, had it been against tougher opposition then they may have very well regretted only scoring once.

That said though a win is a win and that’s what Middlesbrough have gone without in their last two matches. Successive defeats to Crystal Palace and Everton have seen Aitor Karanka’s side slip to 13th after an unbeaten start from their first three matches.

In fairness though Karanka would probably be happy with that start to the season but he is also fully aware that they will need to add some points to the 5 they have already won soon or they could quickly see themselves sliding down the table

Last weekend saw them lose 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park. They may have had some level of fortune with the games opener but after that The Toffee’s clicked into gear and three quick fire first half strikes all but sealed the game up before the referee had signaled for half time

‘Boro will be fortunate that there is no Harry Kane today for Spurs but the North London side will come into the game feeling bullish after their demolition job of Gillingham in Midweek. It may not be a full strength Spurs but it’s still a very strong one. If Janssen can find the net at Premier League level and help his side come away with a win then it could be a very good three points. The question that is yet to be answered is just how much will Harry Kane be missed?

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