The FA Cup third round weekend is one of the great occasions – and always will be – of the football season, but other things are sure to be on Spurs’ mind as they head to Tranmere tonight.
Spurs are within hailing distance of Premier League leaders Liverpool and Manchester City, and Mauricio Pochettino – who for all his brilliance is without a Trophy to show for his great work at Spurs, and he also has a League Cup semi-final against Chelsea next Tuesday to prepare for.
So we can expect a fair few changes from the Lilywhites as they go north, but those looking for a shock might be a bit disappointed. Spurs have been handed a generous draw by any stretch of the imagination and whilst Tranmere are just three points off the playoffs, their cup record, along with the gulf between the teams, suggests long odds quotes are correct.
Tranmere lost their first-round League Cup tie 3-1 at home to Walsall, and they lost all three of their EFL Trophy matches. When it came to this competition they also failed to beat Oxford City and Southport first time out, so we are not looking at a team with a great record of upsets here.
We can have a good guess about what sort of side Spurs can put out as they have the same squad as last season. Last September they started Vorm Trippier, Foyth, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters, Dembele, Winks, Sissoko, Alli, Son, and Llorente for a 1-0 win against Barnsley in the EFL Cup and in their 2-2 draw against Watford Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Winks, Wanyama, Sissoko, Alli, Lamela, and Lucas Moura took to the field.
Tranmere Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur
FA Cup 3rd Round
19:45 BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD*
(Maximum 10 matches)
FEB 2002 FA CUP Tottenham 4-0 Tranmere
OCT 2001 LEAGUE CUP Tranmere 0-4 Tottenham
There’s more than enough strength in depth to come through this test but as a word of warning, Newport and Rochdale held Tottenham to draws last season in the FA Cup. On those occasions both teams scored, and Tranmere have scored in 12 of their last 13 games, so that could be the best option here combined with an away win.
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