Date: 24th September 2016 at 8:29am
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Middlesbrough and Tottenham meet at the Riverside in the Premier League for the first time in seven years on Saturday afternoon.

Aitor Karanka’s Teessiders have made a positive start upon their return to England’s top-tier, and are currently 13th in the table ahead of the Spurs encounter.

However defeats to Crystal Palace, as well as most recently, Everton last Saturday at Goodison Park, have brought Boro back down to earth with a bump, having previously enjoyed an unbeaten opening three matches.

Middlesbrough took an early lead when Toffees keeper Maarten Stekelenburg diverted the ball into his own net when under pressure from Alvaro Negredo.

However, first-half goals from Gareth Barry, Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku confirmed the three points for Everton, leaving the visitors heading back to the North-East empty handed.

Boro entertain Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side who have recently found their feet. Unbeaten in their first five league fixtures, the North Londoners have triumphed in their previous two games.

Harry Kane netted the solitary, and winning goal of the contest just shy of the hour-mark, as the Lilywhites edged past David Moyes’ stubborn Sunderland.

The win at White Hart Lane moved Tottenham up to third in the table, having collected 11 points so far.

Spurs made it through to the EFL Cup fourth round on Wednesday, easing past League One side Gillingham on home soil, with Christian Eriksen netting a brace in a 5-0 win.

Off the pitch, Spurs have handed new long-term contracts to Eriksen, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Danny Rose, as they look to build on their success of last term.

The two sides last played one another in March 2009. Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Aaron Lennon’s brace confirmed a 4-0 victory at White Hart Lane.

ool :Vincent Janssen of Tottenham.Photo: Mark Leech

Netherlands international Janssen netted his first Spurs goal in the midweek 5-0 drubbing of Gillingham – Photo: Mark Leech / Offside.

Team News:

Middlesbrough will be without long-term injury absentees Grant Leadbitter and Fabio da Silva.

The trio of Christian Stuani, Jordan Rhodes and Adam Clayton are fit for the Spurs match.

Tottenham will have to contend without England international Kane, who suffered strained ligaments to his right ankle during Sunday’s win over Sunderland. Summer signing Vincent Janssen is set to lead the visitors’ frontline.

Rose, Dier and Mousa Dembele are all set to miss out due to hamstring complaints.

Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Alli, Victor Wanyama and Son Heung-min will likely reclaim their places in the starting line-up.

League Positions: Middlesbrough – 13th (5pts); Tottenham – 3rd (11pts)
Last Meeting: Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough – (March 4, 2009)
League Form: Middlesbrough – DWDLL; Tottenham – DWDWW
Key Men: Middlesbrough – Alvaro Negredo; Tottenham – Erik Lamela
Shoot Says: Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham
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