Chris Wilder knows a thing or two about the Premier League and its sides, taking Sheffield United to the top flight recently and cementing a good finish in his first season. He is now at Championship side Middlesbrough but is still handing out the defeats to top flight sides, with Boro producing a shock to start the fourth round. Middlesbrough travelled to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the first game of FA Cup fourth-round weekend and took the Red Devils all the way to penalties before knocking Ralf Rangnick’s side out.
The trip to Old Trafford was Middlesbrough’s reward for beating League Two side Mansfield Town in the third round, a thrilling tie that the Championship side only won thanks to an injury-time own goal. Now Middlesbrough will be looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2016/17 when they were knocked out by Manchester City, while still being a Premier League side. In fact, Boro’s past five quarter-final appearances have come while in the Premier League.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are looking to avoid becoming a yo-yo club with regards to their results. It’s been a strange few weeks for Antonio Conte’s side both on and off the pitch, with the Italian doing more U-turns than Usher, appearing on the brink of leaving before later backing down. After being Man City 3-2 to take control of their top four destiny, Tottenham then lost 1-0 to relegation-battling Burnley, wasting of their games in hand on the teams around them. They bounced back though, thrashing Leeds 4-0 at the weekend and putting the final nail in Marcelo Bielsa’s coffin at Elland Road.
But now they will be looking to avoid doing a Man Utd as they search for first FA Cup quarter-final appearance since 2017/18. Tottenham didn’t make things too easy for themselves in the third round, having to rely on the big boys to come from behind against League One side Morecambe, but their 3-1 win over Brighton was a lot more routine. However, Tottenham have exited the FA Cup at the fifth round in each of the past two seasons, losing to Everton last year and Norwich in 2019/20.
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Middlesbrough vs Tottenham: Match Stats
Dejan Kulusevski looks a changed man at Tottenham, truly enjoying himself after his loan move from Juventus. His quality was on full display in Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Leeds at the weekend with Kulusevski hitting the target twice, also scoring his second Premier League goal.
This is set to be a packed midfield battle between two sides who field back threes and you can expect a lot of tackles to be contested as Tottenham and Middlesbrough look to wrestle control in key areas. In their penalty-shootout victory over Man Utd in the previous round, Middlesbrough made 15 tackles in the opening 90 minutes and average 16.12 per match in the Championship this season. Tottenham, meanwhile, average 15.88 in the Premier League.
14 January 2020 – Tottenham 2-1 Middlesbrough – FA Cup
5 January 2020 – Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham – FA Cup
4 February 2017 – Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough – Premier League
24 September 2016 – Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham – Premier League
4 March 2009 – Tottenham 4-0 Middlesbrough – Premier League
Tottenham are unbeaten in their past five matches against Middlesbrough across all competitions, including a 2-1 win in the FA Cup third round in 2019/20 (after a replay). In fact, Middlesbrough have only beaten Tottenham twice in the past 15 games across all competitions after enjoying a run of six games without defeat between 2002 and 2004.