The Riverside stadium plays host to a fascinating collision this weekend, as high-flying Tottenham pay a visit to one of the newly promoted teams, Middlesbrough.
Spurs will be full of confidence heading into the match, after their 5-0 mid-week trouncing of Gillingham in the EFL Cup.
As Mauricio Pochettino will undoubtedly be drilling into his players, a victory will be crucial in helping them fend off the chasing Arsenal and Chelsea, and could even elevate them up into 2nd place, above Everton.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 24, 2016
The home dressing room, meanwhile, is in a very different state of affairs. Boro enter the game in 13th place in the league and having lost their last two Premier League games, so with this as the backdrop, it’s vital that Aitor Karanka’s men extract something from the match.
While Middlesbrough’s squad currently remains almost entirely injury free, the same cannot be said about Spurs.
The mercurial Harry Kane is ruled out with an ankle injury, and will possibly be absent for around 8 weeks, meaning that Pochettino has a choice to make between Heung Min Son and summer signing Vincent Janssen to lead the line, up front.
Whilst Son has been in good form lately and is fast becoming a hit with the Spurs fans, it seems likely that Janssen will start.
For Middlesbrough, they’ll be relying on Alvaro Negredo to do some damage up front and net his first goal since the opening day of the season.
Currently sitting just two points above the relegation zone, Boro will not want to be residing in that portion of the table for long, and will surely come into the game with extra vigour.
Spurs do look to be the favourites, but you should never underestimate the effect of a passionate north-eastern home crowd. An intriguing battle awaits us, as both sides look to climb the table.