On pre-season expectations, Jonathan Woodgate’s side have disappointed in the Championship but they’ve picked up over recent weeks and will arrive here unbeaten in their last six.
That run includes wins at Preston and West Brom, who have a combined total of four home defeats.
Both victories were achieved without conceding and Boro’s backline has been pretty decent, keeping a clean sheet in a third of their league games.
That bodes well for this game for which Spurs will be without their biggest goal threat in Harry Kane.
Of course, the home side still have plenty of quality but boss Jose Mourinho may well need to start prioritising the league – there’s now a nine-point gap to fourth and a win at in-form Watford at the weekend is imperative.
Boro look big at 13/1 to win the game, while backing them in the double-chance market at 16/5 is another strong option.
However, perhaps the best is Boro (+2) on the handicaps which is odds-against and pays out even if they lose by one.
It may also pay to get involved with the cards given Craig Pawson, the Premier League’s fourth strictest official, who averages 4.18 yellows per game, has the whistle.
A long-term trend is that FA Cup ties have a lower card average than their Premier League counterparts but a look at Pawson’s figures show he’s still very active with the book in this competition.
Six of his last nine FA Cup matches have seen him produce at least four cards (a straight red counts as two and a two-yellow red three) yet over 3.5 can be backed at 7/4 with 888sport.
Spurs are second bottom of the Premier League fair play table, while Boro are bottom in the Championship.
7/4 looks good value.
Over 3.5 cards – 7/4 with 888sport
Boro (+2) – 21/20 with bet365
All prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change.
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