Tottenham Hotspur will take on Manchester City in the fourth round of FA Cup on Friday. It is the most exciting of all the matches in the competition in that round and Manchester City, the defending champions, will start as the favourites in it.
However, Tottenham will also be in with an outside chance, as Manchester City does not have a particularly impressive record at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Spurs, who are in the fifth position in the league table, should target success at FA Cup this time around.
Tottenham Hotspur will be keen to end trophy-drought:
Tottenham last won the FA Cup in 1991, which is more than 30 years ago. The last silverware they won was the League Cup in 2008. In the meantime, they have reached a UEFA Champions League final and also finished inside the top four repeatedly. Hence, Ange Postecoglou’s team will be keen to end their trophy-drought this time around.
However, they have the best team in England and, maybe the world, standing between them and the next round. No team will like to face the Cityzens in a knock-out round in any competition. Moreover, Spurs will be without the services of star forward Son Heung-Min in the match, as he is out with national duty at the AFC Asian Cup.
Hence, Manchester City should start as the favourites in the match. However, should the Spurs be able to knock Manchester City out, they will fancy their chances of beating any other team left in the competition.
The Spurs will be boosted by James Maddison’s comeback
Maddison, who was out of action for a couple of months owing to an injury, is supposed to make comeback pretty soon, maybe starting with the match against Manchester City. His team missed his services dearly, as the 27-year-old playmaker has three goals and five assists in 12 matches this season.
Moreover, their midfield triumvirate of Olivier Skipp, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur have performed reasonably well in the absence of regular starters like Maddison, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr, both of whom are busy playing at AFCON. Postecoglou will hope that they keep performing in the same way in their next few matches at least.
Tottenham will play against Brentford, Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their next three matches in the Premier League. Those matches are relatively easy and by the end of the third one, Tottenham should be back to full strength, with almost all the absent players joining the team again.
Time for Richarlison to step up
Richarlison has often made appearances for Tottenham this season, playing in 20 matches so far. He also has eight goals to show for, with his performance picking up during the last month or so. In Son’s absence, the Brazilian forward will have a lot of responsibility as the team’s main goal-scorer.
Tottenham’s performance will depend a good deal on Richarlison’s ability to finish. It remains to be seen how well the Brazilian steps up and helps his team have a good second half of the season.