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Spurs Odyssey Preview -

This week - last year
What happened in the Premiership in Match 12 2006-07

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Middlesbrough

Prem          Pl  W  D  L   For- Ag  Pts
Home          12  5  4  3   14 - 14  19
Away          12  3  4  5   14 - 19  13
=======================================
Total(Prem)   24  8  8  8   28 - 33  32
=======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   25 15  4  6   62 - 40  36
Away(Div 1)   25  3  6 16   25 - 52  13
=======================================
Total(Div 1)  50 18 10 22   87 - 92  49
=======================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)    1  0  0  1    2 -  5   0
Away(Div 2)    1  0  0  1    0 -  3   0
=======================================
Total(Div 2)   2  0  0  2    2 -  8   0
=======================================
Total(Prem)   24  8  8  8   28 - 33  32
Total(Div 1)  50 18 10 22   87 - 92  49
Total(Div 2)   2  0  0  2    2 -  8   0
=======================================
Grand Total   76 26 18 32  117 -133  81
=======================================
Last Six Premiership results:-


M'brough

West Ham   3-0   M'brough
M'brough   2-2   S'derland
Everton    2-0   M'brough
Man City   3-1   M'brough
M'brough   0-2   Chelsea
Man Utd    4-1   M'brough

Spurs

Spurs      1-3   Arsenal
Bolton     1-1   Spurs
Spurs      4-4   A. Villa
Liverpool  2-2   Spurs
Newcastle  3-1   Spurs
Spurs      1-2   Blackburn

Pos          P  W  D  L  F-A   GD  Pts
17 M'brough 11  2  2  7 11-22 -11   8
18 Spurs    11  1  4  6 18-23  -5   7 
Last Five Corresponding Fixtures

28.04.07 - Middlesbrough 2 Spurs 3 - Keane double helps Spurs to first win at Riverside in 11 years.
18.12.05 - Middlesbrough 3 Spurs 3 - The boldness of Martin Jol.
07.05.05 - Middlesbrough 1 Spurs 0 - Boro edge Spurs out of Europe.
09.03.04 - Middlesbrough 1 Spurs 0 - Spurs suffer "commitment failure".
03.05.03 - Middlesbrough 5 Spurs 1 - Hoddle's Spurs ripped apart.

Dimitar Berbatov scores with a sweet volley in the corresponding game of last season, played in April Like Spurs, Middlesbrough have failed to win a Premier League game in 6 matches. In Spurs case the figure is 9 matches in all. Like Spurs, Middlesbrough are languishing in the bottom four, and if they lose this game, they will be rooted in the relegation zone. Like Spurs, Middlesbrough have suffered some imbalance in the ratio of their home and away games, with four of those last six games played away. Boro have lost their last four games to in-form Everton, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. This year Boro could not manage one of their regular surprise results at Old Trafford. They and their fans will be baying for three points on Saturday.

The home fans will not just be keen to beat a bottom of the table rival, but will also want to gain some revenge over new Spurs coach Juande Ramos, who was the architect of their embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Sevilla in the 2006 UEFA Cup Final at Eindhoven. The Boro side included Gareth Southgate, playing his last competitive game before he took over as the manager, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Stewart Downing, Fabio Rochemback, and one or two youngsters. Southgate's motivational talk will be easy, especially in the case of these players.

Middlesbrough's only league successes so far came at Fulham, and at home to Birmingham. Their fans will have been consoled a little by draws against both their north-eastern rivals. It was Spurs of course who put them out of the Carling Cup, so there has been very little for the locals to cheer so far this season. Our former striker, Mido has yet to play against us, due to a hamstring injury, and he is unlikely to take part this week. On the other hand, former gooner Aliadiere, who was feared to have suffered the same problem, actually only had cramp, and will be available, and suitably motivated of course! Huth and Arca will remain absent, and those elements in defence and midfield may prove crucial.

Spurs injury list remains the same, with Ledley King, Gareth Bale, Anthony Gardner and Ricardo Rocha all absent. Whether Ramos starts with the defensive line-up he finished with on Wednesday night remains to be seen, and his intriguing substitution may have confused the Boro watchers a little.

The Spurs line-up should be little changed from the win over Blackpool, but hopefully Ramos will have had time to instil more confidence into the players and the right level of desire and commitment to bring back a much-needed three points. I think that Spurs will win this one, and I'll go for another 2-0.

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