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Spurs Odyssey FA Cup Rd 4 replay Preview - Spurs v Newport, 07.02.18

· Newport 1 Spurs 1, 27.01.18
· Spurs Odyssey preview for Newport v Spurs, 27.01.18
· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Previous FA Cup meetings:-

Season  Rd  H/A  Result  Scorer(s):-
58-59    4   H    4-1    Dunmore (2), Smith (2)
59-60    3   A    4-0    Smith, Allen (2), Blanchflower
17-18    4   A    1-1    Kane

Let's have an emphatic dispatch Spurs!

So now we know the opposition lying in wait for the fifth round game to be televised on Sunday 18th February, should we do our job, as expected, tonight against Newport. Rochdale beat Millwall 1-0 last night with their fans invading the pitch to gloat Millwall-style at the Millwall fans. There was more than a touch of irony there! Spurs have never played Rochdale before, and if we do win tonight we face a game on a rough, sand-covered pitch and another game in difficult conditions. Firstly, let's focus on the job in hand tonight.

It is interesting to note that following our shock draw at Rodney Parade on 27th January, comparisons were drawn between this tie against Newport and the historic game Spurs played against Crewe Alexandra in 1960. That Crewe game was in the Fourth Round and came after we had dispatched Third Division Newport 4-0 at their one-time Somerton Park home. Crewe were in the Fourth Division and held a strong Spurs side to a 2-2 draw at home, before we recorded our record highest win the following Wednesday. There were no 10-day waits for replays in those days!

There were over 64,000 people at White Hart Lane to witness that 13-2 destruction of lowly Crewe. Due to the fact that the upper level at Wembley will not be open tonight, there is no chance of reaching a crowd of that level, despite the fact that thousands of Newport fans (perhaps 8,000) will be making the exodus along the M4 in the hope of seeing history being made.

Newport's manager Michael Flynn has high hopes and says that a win over Spurs would be the club's greatest ever result. Perhaps the fact that the game "means everything to the club" is the reason for two defeats for Newport since our FA Cup meeting. "The Exiles" lost 3-1 at Lincoln last Tuesday, and on Saturday they were beaten 2-0 at Colchester. The price has been a drop to 11th place in the league, five points off the play-off places.

There is no way we are going to see a massive beating such as that historic Crewe win, and with surely most of Pochettino's first choice men for Saturday's derby game being rested, we should hope for an emphatic win, but one without injuries. Spurs under Mauricio are too professional to assume an easy ride and will show full respect to the team that so nearly beat them at Rodney Parade.

With no injury problems, Pochettino could give a start to eleven players who did not start at Anfield. Predicting the actual team is a guessing game, and a balanced side must be found. Jan Vertonghen, who has played more minutes than any ever Spurs player this season surely needs a break and Eric Dier is another player who has rarely been rested this season. However, Mauricio has been quoted as stating that “If you look at the starting 11 ....., 90% of the players have started in the Champions League”.

That line-up could include run-outs for Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose, both available for selection. The full team could be Vorm; Walker-Peters, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose; Wanyama, Winks; Lamela, Sissoko, Son; Kane/Llorente, most of whom have indeed started Champions League games. New signing Lucas Moura is not available, as he was not registered at the time of the first game in this tie. I do feel that Son or Kane must start tonight, as we need their instinctive goal-scoring power.

We all expect a win tonight, and I will predict a 4-0 margin for Spurs.

Did you know? - Newport midfielder Joss Labadie, who captained and starred for Newport in the first game has twice been banned for biting offences? In 2015 Labadie was given a 6 month ban after a biting incident against former Spur Ronnie Henry who was playing for Stevenage at the time. Labadie was a Dagenham & Redbridge player at the time. The previous year he had been given a 10 match ban for biting Chesterfield's Ollie Banks. On that occasion Labadie was a Notts County player on loan with Torquay. Shades of Luis Suarez indeed! Right back David Pipe, who took the captain's armband from Labadie when he was substituted in the first game has a Grievous Bodily Harm conviction and served a jail sentence in 2010 after an incident in a Bristol night club. Perhaps Spurs felt more than a little intimidated at Newport?

Tonight's game is being televised by BT Sport and is another to feature VAR. The match referee is Stuart Attwell who we haven't seen since April last year, when we beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor. In fact, Mr. Attwell has only refereed 5 Spurs games in 8 years. I hope our game is uninterrupted by the use of technology, which can be a drain on the fans' patience and also on resources with the usual on-site officials plus Graham Scott in front of the video and even an additional video assistant referee!

· "It was Twenty Years ago today!" - On this day in 1998, Spurs had an unlikely but much-welcomed 3-0 win at Blackburn. Read this personal and contemporary report.

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