Mourinho hints on shuffling the pack

Brian Jeeves
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Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur – Riverside Stadium – Emirates FA Cup Third Round – Sunday 2:01pm

Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur – Preview:

A spate of injuries has hindered Tottenham Hotspur’s Emirates FA Cup preparations, and boss, Jose Mourinho has suggested that will almost certainly mean an opportunity for some of the clubs younger players to shine when the Lilywhites head to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Harry Kane has joined Danny Rose, Hugo Lloris, Tanguy Ndombele and Ben Davies on the injured list – the England frontman set to be out for a lengthy period following a hamstring tear picked up during their defeat at Southampton.

“Everybody’s going to be involved,” Mourinho explained.

“If you go to our squad and no Rose, no Davies, no Lloris, no Kane. I don’t know if Eric Dier will be ready, but he is still to come back.

The Portuguese continued: “When you say no, no, no you have to say Skipp, Tanganga, Parrott – the young boys in. That’s for sure – but sometimes when you say young guys – people that are not playing a lot and you connect FA Cup not important, FA Cup the right space to give opportunities to players that’s not the case.

“FA Cup very important, by the history of the club, by the connection, by the memories, by what it means for everyone at the club, every fan, the FA Cup is very important.

“So these young players coming in for the match at Middlesbrough doesn’t mean the FA Cup is not important for us. The FA Cup is important for us, we are going to play every minute of the FA Cup with the maximum potential that we have available, and if somebody knocks us out of the competition, I want that to happen in the maximum potential of our effort, commitment because FA Cup is a very important competition.”

Host’s Middlesbrough have picked up of late, winning each of their last four Championship matches. Boss, Jonathan Woodgate – a former Spurs player himself – could include Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha, who both arrived at the Riverside Stadium on loan from Manchester City.

Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur – Head to head:

Middlesbrough won: 35
Drawn: 23
Tottenham Hotspur won: 35

Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur – Last five meetings (all competitions):

April 12, 2008 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Middlesbrough
August 16, 2008 – Premier League
Middlesbrough 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

March 4, 2009 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Middlesbrough

September 24, 2016 – Premier League
Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

February 4, 2017 – Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Middlesbrough

Jeevesie’s prediction: Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Brian Jeeves