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match preview, boro h

Posted on 19 August 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Middlesbrough effectively ended our hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Cup via the Premiership when they beat us 1-0 at the Riverside in the penultimate game of last season.

The Teeside outfit went on to make it into Europe and will find out their UEFA Cup first round opponents when the draw is made next week.

Steve McClaren's men started this campaign with a 0-0 draw against Liverpool at the Riverside, hanging on somewhat after the early departure of Ugo Ehiogu, red carded for a professional foul on Steven Gerrard.

Yakubu was the big arrival of the summer in a £7.5m switch from Portsmouth having scored 16 goals in 35 league starts at Fratton Park last term. McClaren has been boosted by the return to fitness of midfielder Giazka Mendiata while full-back Michael Reiziger is expected to feature more after shoulder surgery last season - on the downside Tony McMahon, a find last term in Reiziger's absence, has damaged a shoulder himself and is expected to be out for some time.

Gareth Southgate: Skipper leads by example from central defence. Made his name at Palace in the early 1990s before moving to Villa in 1995-96. His displays won a place in the England squad for Euro 96, where he famously missed semi-final penalty against Germany. Now 34, he joined Boro in 2001-02 and captained club to first trophy, the Carling Cup, in 2004. Won 50 caps.

Gaizka Mendieta: Back from a serious knee injury, Spanish international was seen as one of the best midfielders in the world as he led Valencia to successive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001. In fact, named UEFA midfielder of year in 2000. Moved to Lazio for £28.9m in 2001-02 but move didn't work out and arrived on Teeside after loan spell at Barcelona.

Stewart Downing: Middlesbrough-born product of the club's Academy, the 21-year-old left winger's outstanding peformances last season were rewarded with first England cap against Holland in April. England Under-21 team mate Michael Dawson says he's got just about everything. Made his Boro debut in April 2002.

Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink. One of the most lethal strikers in history of Premiership. Now 33, he bagged 43 goals in two seasons at Leeds before top-scoring in La Liga with Atletico Madrid in 1999-2000. The goals continued to flow in four seasons at Chelsea including 23 in 2001-02. Moved to Teeside in 2004-05 and netted another 16 goals. Capped 23 times by Holland, scoring nine goals.

May 7, 2005: Middlesbrough 1, Spurs 0: Last season's meeting at the Riverside was effectively a 'winner takes all' affair with the victors likely to qualify for the UEFA Cup. In the end, George Boateng's deflected goal in the first half was enough to win it and Boro were then happy to sit back, let us have possession and hit us on the break. Boro made it into the UEFA Cup, we finished three points adrift.

Martin Jol: "Middlesbrough is a very good team, an experienced team that did well last year but we’ve learned from last season when we needed a point in the penultimate game of the season and we lost 1-0. In some games you have to do well and we didn’t do it in that game."

Steve McClaren: They've bought younger players and a lot is expected of them, especially with the arrival of Edgar Davids. They are one of the favourites for a UEFA Cup place so it will a tough test."

We are unbeaten in seven home Premiership games, and last lost an opening home fixture seven years ago. Boro haven't won an opening away fixture in the Premiership since beating Coventry at Highfield Road on August 19, 2000.