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Spurs Odyssey FA Cup Rd 5 Preview - Spurs v Crystal Palace, 21.02.16

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Spurs cup record against Crystal Palace:

FA Cup

1923-24
1st Rd v Crystal Palace (a) 0-2

1969-70
4th Rd v Crystal Palace (h) 0-0
Replay v Crystal Palace (a) 0-1

1986-87
4th Rd v Crystal Palace (h) 4-0
Mabbutt, C Allen (pen), Claesen, O'Reilly (o.g.)

2003-04
3rd Rd v Crystal Palace (h) 3-0
Kanoute (3)

FL Cup

1980-81
3rd Rd v Crystal Palace (h) 0-0
Replay v Crystal Palace (a) 3-1
after extra time, Villa, Hoddle, Crooks
Hoddle was sent off in this game.

Let's do it for Jimmy!

Much has been written before on this website about the most (in)famous FA Cup tie played between these two sides, and on this day (20th Feb) - Jimmy Greaves' 76th birthday - I do not propose to dwell on the game that ended the Spurs career of the club's greatest ever goalscorer in January 1970.

Jimmy at last will be inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame in April, but sadly will not be present, due to his illness.

Much better to hark back to the last FA Cup meeting between the two sides, which took place in the Third Round 12 years ago now in January 2004 (Spurs 3 Palace 0, 03.01.04). Palace came to White Hart Lane in 20th place in Division One (now The Championship) managed by Iain Dowie.

Palace had lost four of the seven games which preceded our cup tie, and Spurs ran out comfortable winners thanks to a hat-trick by Fredi Kanoute. Spurs weren't doing so great in the Premier League at the time, seeing in the New Year in 17th place under the caretaker leadership of David Pleat. Fredi scored his first two goals in the first half, and the third in the 48th minute.

With only the league to focus on, Dowie's Palace side went on a remarkable run all the way to the Play-off final in which they beat West Ham 1-0. Now that can't be bad, can it?

Spurs didn't get much further in the cup in 2004, because they were knocked out in another infamous game by Manchester City, who beat us in the fourth round after being 3-0 down at half-time. We did retain our Premier League status though, and the following season would see the arrival of Santini, Arnesen and Jol, although that did not turn out quite as well as we hoped. One of Palace's players, Wayne Routledge would sign for Spurs a year later after Palace were relegated after one season in the top flight. Routledge never played much football for Spurs, and is now in his fifth season at Swansea.

Crystal Palace have never won the FA Cup, but famously reached the 1990 final against Manchester United, who took the trophy after a replay. The Palace side included Andy Gray, who would go on to a short Tottenham career between 91 & 93. More famously Palace's team included present day manager Alan Pardew, and a certain Ian Wright, who really came to fame in that FA Cup Final, coming off the bench to score two goals, even giving Palace the lead at the start of extra-time. United got an equaliser to make it 3-3 though (Mark Hughes, who also scored twice), and then won the replay 1-0.

Wrighty of course went on to play for Arsenal, which brings us to another striker who can now say he has played for Arsenal and Palace. This one though has also played for Spurs. Emmanuel Adebayor has been the main focus of this game for many football writers, so I won't dwell upon him. He has said that is he does score against us, he will celebrate with gusto. I suspect Spurs fans will forget the good games he had for us (there were quite a few), and will revert to baiting the Togolese striker who has collected 100,000 per week over the last seven years of his career, without always playing as much football as he and some paying fans would have liked.

Palace's form has nose-dived since December 19th when they got their last Premier League win away to Stoke. Stoke were their last victims in the FA Cup (1-0), and Pardew's men also put paid to Southampton's prospects with a 2-1 win at St Mary's in the third round. Having been a top half side, and in with a chance of European qualification, Palace have dropped to 13th place with 32 points. They are now below Chelsea and the lowest placed London Premier League side. Pardew needs to arrest the club's league slide and has a big game to think about next week against West Brom.

That's next week though, and I am sure we will face a strong side tomorrow. They will have to make do though without Pape Souare, who got a straight red last week, and has been playing left back. Souare played in our recent league win at Selhurst Park, which saw that fabulous Dele Alli goal.

Danger man Yannick Bolassie could make his first start of the year, and it is probably not just a co-incidence that Palace's league form has suffered so much since his last game on December 19th.

The mystery of Tom Carroll's half-time substitution in Florence was resolved with the news that he suffered a cut to his achilles, and will be absent for 10 days. Spurs can also field a strong team tomorrow, which may read:- Vorm; Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Mason/Eriksen/Alli, Chadli; Kane.

I want to end this preview with the focus upon a striker who Spurs fans do remember with the utmost pride, the one and only Jimmy Greaves, still battling for as full a recovery as possible after that severe stroke last year. I am predicting and urging a Spurs victory (2-0) with the words, "Let's do it for Jimmy!"

Our match referee will be Craig Pawson who is not one of our favourites. This season he was in charge of our away win against Sunderland, and the 0-0 home draw against Liverpool in October.

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