AUTHOR: James Dowen

STAR PREVIEW Tues: Middlesbrough v Tottenham

The FA Cup has provided us plenty of thrilling games this season and we could be in for another exciting clash when Middlesbrough host Spurs in tonight’s fifth round tie.

It’s not hard to see why this game has received TV coverage; Middlesbrough put out Manchester United in the last round and have won their last seven fixtures at home, leading towards a promotion charge, whilst this is Tottenham’s last chance of a trophy this season, meaning we ought to see a strong and highly motivated Spurs side.

Middlesbrough’s promotion charge has hit a bump since their penalty shootout win at Old Trafford with a draw at QPR and defeats against Bristol City and Barnsley, but it’s interesting to note that on each occasion they won the xG count and that they scored five goals in those three games.

Elsewhere, they’ve beaten Derby (4-1) and West Brom (2-1) at the Riverside and in the shape of Andraz Sporar they have a forward who can test the Spurs defence whilst the return of Matt Crooks from suspension is a timely boost for them as well, adding to a midfield which also has the goalscoring threat of Marcus Tavernier to boot.

Chris Wilder’s attacking approach has brought plenty of rewards for them and it’s hard to imagine them taking too much of a backwards step against a Spurs side which contains plenty of attacking threat.

Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur
FA Cup Fifth Round
19:55 BBC One HD BBC Two Wales HD / BBC iPlayer HD / BBC Sport Website

(Maximum 10 matches)
JAN 2020 FA CUP Tottenham 2-1 Middlesbrough
JAN 2020 FA CUP Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham
FEB 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough
SEP 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham
MAR 2009 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough
AUG 2008 PREMIER LEAGUE Middlesbrough 2-1 Tottenham
APR 2008 PREMIER LEAGUE Tottenham 1-1 Middlesbrough
NOV 2007 PREMIER LEAGUE Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham
SEP 2007 CARLING CUP Tottenham 2-1 Middlesbrough
APR 2007 PREMIERSHIP Middlesbrough 2-3 Tottenham

All eyes are on Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min, who are now the Premier League’s most prolific pairing with 37 combinations between them after they carved up Leeds 4-0 at the weekend. Middlesbrough will do well to contain either of Tottenham’s ace pair whilst new signing Dejan Kulusevski has made an instant impact, scoring in two of Spurs’ last three games.

Kulusevski could really thrive as part of a front three for Spurs, who could have the advantage out wide with Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon possibly coming into the side, and all the signs point to an attacking contest this evening.

Middlesbrough have attacked with gusto under Chris Wilder, scoring in their last seven games, whilst they’ve also conceded in their last 6, and Tottenham were lucky to keep a first clean sheet in 11 games against Leeds – who struck the woodwork twice and recorded an xG rating of 1.87 with Infogol.

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