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Spurs Odyssey FA Cup Preview - Middlesbrough v Spurs, 05.01.2020

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Full Cup Record against Middlesbrough


1904-05   1     A     1-1     Glen
1904-05   1(R)  H     1-0     O'Hagan
1955-56   4     H     3-1     Norman,
			      Dunmore, Robb
1965-66   3     H     4-0     Mackay (2) (1 pen)
                              Saul 2


1972-73   3     A     1-1     Pearce
1972-73   3(R)  H     0-0 (a.e.t)
1972-73   3(2R) H     2-1     Gilzean, Peters
1974-75   2     H     0-4   
1976-77   2     A     2-1     Moores, Neighbour
2003-04  Q-F    H     1-1     Anderton
(a.e.t - lost 5-4 pens) 	
2007-08   3     H     2-0     Bale, Huddlestone

Will you be up for the cup Spurs?

Spurs travel to Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium tomorrow for the first time since September 2016. The two teams have very rarely met in England's premier cup competition and indeed the last time they battled it out in the FA Cup was a full 54 years ago. Even Brian Clough had not been retired long as a player then, although he left Middlesbrough at the end of Spurs' Double season.

We will be renewing fond acquaintances tomorrow of course with the last man to score a winning goal for Spurs in a cup final - Jonathan Woodgate - and his assistant, who also played for Spurs that day in February 2008 against Chelsea - Robbie Keane.

Jonathan Woodgate was appointed manager of his former club last summer and his assistant is Robbie Keane. Woodgate was blighted by injury for so much of his career, and only made three starts in his last two years at Spurs. He last played against us for Stoke in November, 2011 at right back. Stoke featured three other former Spurs in that game (Etherington, Crouch and substitute Palacios) and beat us 2-1.

A month ago, with "Boro" flirting with relegation from the Championship there was some doubt about whether this managerial team would face their old club in the FA Cup. Middlesbough have won their last four games at home to Stoke and Huddersfield and most notably away to promotion chasers West Brom. Their last win was at Preston on New Year's Day, and they have climbed up to 16th place - 10 points clear of the bottom three. "Boro" will be eyeing the play-off positions now and are 8 points away from that level.

Middlesbrough have had 8 different goalscorers in their last 7 games (plus an own goal scored by Preston). Ashley Fletcher has scored two of those goals and equally leads their goalscorers' list in Championship games with 5 goals, alongside Britt Assombalonga. Assombalonga attracted a big fee for this level (£15 million) when he was signed from Nottingham Forest in 2017, but of course "Boro" had only just been relegated from the top flight. The Congolese striker has been absent for a month (6 games) with an ankle injury, which just happens to coincide with their improvement in form.

When Spurs last played Middlesbrough at The Riverside Stadium on 24th September, 2016, they won 2-1 with two goals scored by Son Heung-min. Middlesbrough had an interesting substitute Adama Traore about whom I said this:- "Adama Traore – signed in the summer from relegated Aston Villa – worried Spurs with his pace, but not so much with his inaccuracy!" Traore was signed by Wolves last season and is currently having a very successful season at Molineux.

"Sonny" is surely bound to feature tomorrow, especially as he has had the benefit of an enforced three match lay-off through suspension. Harry Kane's injury (which occurred at Southampton) has been confirmed as a torn hamstring, although the club have not indicated how long he will be absent. Eric Dier, who missed Wednesday's game with a virus, will be available, and could even captain the side in the absence of "one of our own". Kyle Walker-Peters has also returned to training, and I'm guessing could play tomorrow.

Will Spurs be up for the cup? I sincerely hope so. We all know Jose loves to add a trophy to his CV, and this is our best chance of silverware now this season. We will need as strong a team as possible to beat Middlesbrough, who will no doubt be out to prove themselves against Premier League opposition. A possible Spurs team is Gazzaniga; Walker-Peters, Foyth, Sanchez, Sessegnon; Sissoko, Dier, Winks; Eriksen/Dele, Lucas Moura, Son. I would expect Japhet Tanganga and Troy Parrott to be on the bench.

It is 54 years since we met Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. In that game Cyril Knowles played against his old team. Dave Mackay scored two goals (one from the spot) and Frank Saul scored two. Dave Mackay would lift the cup for Spurs the following season and Frank Saul scored in that 1967 final.

When Spurs last played Middlesbrough in Cup competition it was in the Third Round of the 2007-8 League Cup. We won that game 2-0 with goals by Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone, and would of course go on to win the competition. Hopefully meeting them again now is a good omen! I think this will be a close game, and with Spurs' fragility at the back we are likely to concede a goal. I'll go for a 2-1 away win!

Tomorrow's match referee will be Stuart Attwell, who we've only seen at Molineux this season. There will be no VAR in our game, as The Riverside is not a top flight stadium.

· Thanks Dad! - Spurs fan Harriet Duffy's journey began with a home Premier League game against Middlesbrough in 2004. Harriet kindly sent her story to Spurs Odyssey.

Note that all this weekend's FA Cup games are kicking off one minute late (2.01pm in our case) as part of the Heads Up campaign. Fans will be encouraged to ‘Take A Minute’ to think about mental health.

· "Ten Years After" - Spurs Odyssey reviews the season in which we first qualified for the Champions League. On January 2nd 2010, we beat Peterborough 4-0 in an FA Cup Third Round tie.

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