Tottenham Hotspur will look to progress further in the FA Cup, with a win over League Two side Newport County
Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to make it to the fifth round of the FA Cup, with a win over minnows Newport County at the Rodney Parade on Saturday.
The North Londoners made it to this stage of the competition, after beating AFC Wimbledon 3-0 at the Wembley Stadium. However, they go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw against Southampton and manager Mauricio Pochettino will be keen on bouncing back with a victory against the League Two outfit.
With the Premier League title well beyond their reach, Spurs will look at the FA Cup as an avenue to get their hands on a trophy come the end of the season. And it bodes well for Tottenham that they have just lost twice in their last fifteen fixtures across all competitions.
Newport County, on the other hand, have been on quite an impressive run in the cup. Sitting eighth in League Two, the Exiles are trying to make the most of their chances in the FA Cup having knocked out the likes of Walsall, Cambridge United and Leeds United along the way to make it this far.
It will mark a momentous occasion for the League Two side as they will be hosting an English top-flight side for the first time in over 30 years and irrespective of the result, the club and the fans will cherish the occasion.
Team News and Tactics
Manager Mike Flynn will welcome captain Joss Ladabie and Matty Dolan back into the squad, while Ben White is also expected to be fit and available for selection. However, Tom Owen-Evans (dead leg), Sean Rigg (hip) and Marlon Jackson are all ruled out of the game.
Flynn might look to field the same playing XI that ousted Leeds in the previous round. Joe Day is expected to man the goal once again, while David Pipe and Dan Butler will take up the full-back positions on the right and left sides respectively. And Ben White and Mickey Demetriou will slot in as the centre-halves. They will have their tasks cut out against the dangerous Tottenham attack.
Robbie Willmott and Frank Nouble will start as the wingers for the Exiles and look to get in behind the Spurs’ backline and pepper the box with crosses. Scot Bennett, Joss Labadie and Matty Dolan will occupy the central midfield area to try and prevent Tottenham from settling into their fluid game rhythm.
Padraig Amond will operate as the sole striker for Newport. The 29-year old has scored nine goals this season and would be itching to make it ten against their esteemed opponents on Saturday.
Probable Line-up (4-5-1): Day; Pipe, White, Demetriou, Butler; Willmott, Bennett, Labadie, Dolan, Nouble; Amond;
Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Danny Rose (knee) are set to miss out for Tottenham once again, while Erik Lamela (gluteus muscle), Serge Aurier (calf), Harry Winks (ankle), Hugo Lloris (illness) and Christian Eriksen (illness) are all doubtful ahead of the FA Cup tie.
Pochettino is likely to rest a number of his regulars, given that they will be taking on Manchester United in the Premier League three days later.
Paulo Gazzaniga could be in line for a start between the sticks for the Lilywhites, ahead of Michel Vorm, who played the league game against Southampton last weekend.
Kieran Trippier and academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters will likely be the two starting full-backs with Juan Foyth and Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the defence. The full-backs are likely to be given plenty of freedom to run forward and Trippier has shown in the past that he can be extremely influential in such situations.
Victor Wanyama, who did not feature in the weekend game, should start in the middle of the park, alongside Eric Dier to provide a solid platform for the attack-minded players to build upon. Mousa Dembele, given his recent fitness issues, could be rested.
Dele Alli should start in the central attacking midfield role for Spurs at the Rodney Parade, with Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-Min occupying the flanks, while Fernando Llorente will likely lead the line in place of Harry Kane. The onus will be on Alli and Son to carve open the Newport defence, who are likely to sit deep and defend and Llorente too needs to step up and deliver, if Spurs are keen on avoiding an upset.
Probable Line-up (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Trippier, Foyth, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters; Wanyama, Dier; Sissoko, Alli, Son; Llorente;
- Newport will be facing Tottenham for the first time since consecutive FA Cup meetings in 1959 and 1960, with Spurs winning both games, scoring four in each.
- Newport County are hosting a top-flight side at home for the first time since October 1986, when facing Everton in a League Cup second leg match at Rodney Parade, losing 5-1.
- Tottenham Hotspur have won five of their last six FA Cup matches.
- Spurs have scored at least two goals in their last six FA Cup games.
- Mauricio Pochettino’s team have been beaten in just two of their last 15 fixtures in all competitions.
Player to watch
Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur)
With Harry Kane most likely to be rested, keeping in view the Manchester United match, Fernando Llorente will be given another chance to prove himself. The Spaniard has failed to make a mark since his summer move from Swansea City and has managed just two goals in 22 games across all competitions.
Apart from one solid display against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, there has been very little from the 32-year old to make him stand out. And Saturday’s FA Cup clash will present him with another opportunity to endear himself to the Tottenham faithful.
Newport County 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Despite the likelihood of Pochettino going into the game without a number of heavy hitters, this Tottenham side has more than enough quality to brush off any challenge that Newport are likely to throw at the Rodney Parade. And a 3-0 victory is what we at the Hard Tackle predict for the North Londoners.