Tottenham are prepared to test their fortunes in another cup competition as they welcome League One side Morecambe to north London for their FA Cup clash.

Tottenham have to respond after a disastrous display in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte’s men were comprehensively beaten by their London counterparts, which did not go down too well with their manager, who will be hoping that his side bounce back strongly in the FA Cup third-round clash against Morecambe.

That defeat also ended their unbeaten run of nine games, which has seen Spurs progress up the Premier League table and come within touching distance of Arsenal in the fourth spot. However, Conte will now be hoping for an extended run in the FA Cup, a competition the north London club have not won since 1991.

A good run of results could prove to be the catalyst in the club’s quest to end their long-running trophy drought after winning their last piece of silverware back in 2008. Against a lower league opposition, Tottenham will have the perfect chance to advance through to the next round and keep their trophy prospects alive.

Morecambe kickstarted 2022 with a thrilling win over Doncaster in League One, which stopped their dismal run of six games without a win. More than the victory, the manner of their performance will have enthralled the audience after staging a comeback from 3-0 down. Cole Stockton, Toumani Diagouraga and Jonathan Obika were the architects of the tremendous fightback.

The Shrimps will now be hoping to continue that form against Premier League giants Tottenham in north London. Having beaten Newport County and Buxton in the previous two rounds of the FA Cup, Stephen Robinson’s side will hope to extend that run and pull off a huge upset at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham

There haven’t been any new reports of Covid cases in the Spurs camp, which is positive considering Antonio Conte will want most of his players fit for the upcoming clash. However, since the Chelsea loss, Tottenham have lost key attacker Son Heung-min to a muscular injury, which is likely to keep him out for the rest of the month.

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It is a blow for Conte, considering he has the North London Derby and the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg tie against Chelsea to contend with. The Italian manager might look to rest Harry Kane and Lucas Moura for the FA Cup clash, meaning there could be starts for fringe stars.

While Spurs do not have the depth in defence, Joe Rodon, Japhet Tanganga and Eric Dier could start in a back three, with Pierluigi Gollini in goal. Conte could give youngster Bryan Gil a chance at right wing-back, while Ryan Sessegnon is expected to take his place on the left side.

Tanguy Ndombele could keep his place in central midfield alongside Conte’s trusted star Harry Winks. Meanwhile, Dele Alli could be afforded a start in an attacking midfield role alongside Giovani Lo Celso, with Dane Scarlett starting upfront.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Gollini, Tanganga, Dier, Rodon; Gil, Winks, Ndombele, Sessegnon; Alli, Lo Celso; Scarlett

Morecambe

Cole Stockton and Alfie McCalmont have boosted the manager by their timely return to fitness. However, McCalmont may not be an automatic starter after being hauled off at half-time against Doncaster. Furthermore, Morecambe may have the option to field their new January recruits Jacob Bedeau and Trevor Carson in the side.

Josh McPake, on the other hand, has returned to parent club Rangers. Stephen Robinson might look to reward most of those who played a starring role in the Doncaster win, meaning we could see a similar side that finished the game.

Robinson will field his team in a 4-3-3 shape. With Kyle Letheren in goal, Ryan McLaughlin, Anthony O’Connor, Liam Gibson, and Greg Leigh are expected to line up as the four defenders.

The midfield trio of Shane McLoughlin, Toumani Diagouraga and Alfie McCalmont should get the nod here. Meanwhile, the frontline should comprise Jonah Ayunga on the right, Stockton in the middle and Arthur Gnahoua from the left side.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Letheren; McLaughlin, O’Connor, Gibson, Leigh; McLoughlin, Diagouraga, McCalmont; Ayunga, Stockton, Gnahoua

Key Stats

  • Tottenham have scored at least four goals in their last three FA Cup games.
  • Tottenham are undefeated in their last eight FA Cup matches.
  • Tottenham are unbeaten in seven home games under Antonio Conte.
  • Morecambe lost to Chelsea at this stage of the competition last season.
  • This will be the first ever clash between Tottenham and Morecambe in any competition.

Player To Watch

Giovani Lo Celso

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With rumours about Antonio Conte wanting a new creative midfielder in the current window, it is time for some of Tottenham’s existing stars to step up and give the manager a selection headache. Giovani Lo Celso, who has been on the fringes under the Italian, will need to make his opportunity count on Sunday.

With Son reportedly injured for a whole month, the Argentine can get a run of games, even though he wouldn’t exactly be a like-for-like replacement. He needs to show his mettle and perform at his best against Morecambe to become a regular part of the manager’s plans at the club.

Prediction

Tottenham 2-0 Morecambe

There is one winner on paper as Tottenham boast a much stronger squad than their League One opponents. Antonio Conte might look to play a second-string team, but they should still have enough quality to beat Stephen Robinson’s side. Expect Spurs to win by at least two goals to secure their place in the FA Cup 4th round.

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