Tottenham v Middlesbrough: Spurs to seal FA Cup progress at second attempt

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TOTTENHAM host Middlesbrough on Tuesday night in an FA Cup 3rd Round replay. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets.

Tottenham v Middlesbrough | Tuesday 14th January 2020, 20:05 | BBC

I’ll start by saying how much of a joke it is that this game has once again been chosen for TV coverage. It’s nothing against either team at all, but the broadcasting money that they both get in the top two tiers is mind-boggling – League One and League Two clubs will be lucky to even get a single live game all season and if they did then it would transform their long-term future, whereas it’s a drop in the ocean to the big boys.

I’m sure 90% of people would rather see Tranmere have another go against Watford after an epic comeback at Vicarage Road. Or Cardiff making a tricky trip up north to Cumbria to take on Carlisle. Shame on the broadcasters.

Anyway, we do have this game to preview and there are a couple of betting angles that make a degree of intrigue.

Jose Mourinho fielded a strong side on Teeside but only just scraped a replay. Best believe he will be doing everything in his power to get something in the trophy cabinet, it would give him something to crow about when things inevitably go wrong in a couple of years time.

To be fair to the Champions League finalists, they were coming up against an in-form Boro side. They’ll be comfortable favourites as they play at home here, however, they do have a host of injuries to contend with.

Harry Kane is out until April, Moussa Sissoko is also a long term absentee along with Hugo Lloris. Ben Davies remains out, whereas Danny Rose is out of favour with Jose. Tanguy N’Dombele has had a few issues that haven’t fully been explained.

So there’s a lack of bodies at left back and in central midfield and the obvious void of hotshot Kane. Erik Lamela could get a start here to help Heung Min-Son and Lucas Moura at the top of the pitch after coming on and putting himself about at the weekend. Giovanni Lo Celso was praised by Mourinho lately and he shout start with Dele Alli and Eric Dier.

It will be easier said than done to dispose of a Boro side that have W4-D2-L0 of their last six. Jonathon Woodgate was under pressure before the Christmas schedule but he’s come through that with flying colours. He’s added Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha to his squad on loan deals and they should add creativity and power respectively.

The betting angles

Spurs look very short at around the 1/4 mark, that been said they do have the superior quality and I think they’ll win by a goal or two here but not run away with it. If we utilise Bet365’s BetBuilder and combine Tottenham to win, Under 5 Goals, Both Teams Over 0 Cards, we get a nice 8/5 quote and that’s a nice boost on a home win.

Second legs are always more tensely fought affairs and I’d be surprised if there isn’t at least a booking a piece. It landed in the first leg.

I also think Lo Celso looks like a big price for a card here. He hasn’t started many games at all this season, the Argentinian has started just two Premier League matches and two Champions League encounters but he’s been booked in two of those four.

Last season for Real Betis he collected five cards in 27 starts, as four times in just six Europa League games. Naturally, South Americans tend to be more aggressive as they’ve grown up in an aggressive league.  At 13/2 with Betfair, it looks worth a small stake, especially as he’s shorter than 3/1 in some places.

I would wait until the team news is out before backing this because it’s never 100% guessing the starting line-ups but given the injuries in that department he may have to play.

Best Bets

Tottenham v Middlesbrough – Tottenham to win, Under 5 Goals, Both Teams Over 0 Cards (8/5 Bet365)

Tottenham v Middlesbrough – Giovanni Lo Celso to be carded – 13/2 (Betfair)

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