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Mauricio Pochettino takes his side to the Riverside Stadium and our tipster is anticipating a tight tussle with Aitor Karanka's men for the team from north London

Tottenham Hotspur face a tricky trip north to take on newly promoted Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have made a solid start to the season, having won three and drawn two of their opening five Premier League fixtures, with their most recent league victory coming against Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

Spurs, though, will come into this match without the services of star striker, Harry Kane, who limped out of the action in north London last weekend having already grabbed the only goal of the game for his side against David Moyes’ Black Cats.

Kane’s absence is particularly problematic for Spurs, for the 23-year-old striker, who was the Premier League’s leading marksman last term, has missed only four top-flight fixtures for the north Londoners since the start of the 2014/15 season – and Spurs picked up just one point from those four matches.

Nevertheless, Tottenham are chalked up as even money (2.0) favourites to make light of Kane’s absence by taking all three points from the trip to Teesside, while SkyBet go 5/2 (3.50) that Pochettino’s side are forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Aitor Karanka’s men, back in the top-flight after seven years, have won just one of their first five Premier League matches – against bitter rivals Sunderland in the Tees-Wear derby at Stadium of Light – and SkyBet offer a chunky 14/5 (3.80) that Boro claim their first home win of the campaign this weekend.

The hosts will be heartened by their record against Spurs, for they have been beaten in just one of their last 11 Premier League home matches against the north London club, while 16 years have passed since Middlesbrough failed to win any of their first three home matches in the top tier.

Spurs, though, are unbeaten in 24 games against newly promoted sides since losing to Queens Park Rangers in 2012 – with Tottenham coming out on top in 22 of those ties and, so, Pochettino’s side will be determined to preserve that proud record.

A tight, tense tussle seems likely, though, for Boro have been beaten by more than a single goal in just one of their last 28 home matches, while Karanka’s side have found the net more than once in just one of their last six competitive fixtures at Riverside Stadium.

The loss of Harry Kane is, unquestionably, huge for Spurs and the spotlight will fall on the 23-year-old’s replacement, but Pochettino will feel confident that his side can keep things tight, for Tottenham have conceded just two Premier League goals so far this season – the best defensive record in the top tier.

Value, therefore, lies in backing fewer than three goals to be scored and, as such, SkyBet’s 8/11 (1.73) quote offers outstanding value for punters ahead of Saturday’s showdown.

Under 2.5 goals at 8/11 (1.73) for a 3pt stake with SkyBet