Tranmere v Spurs – FA Cup 3rd round preview

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

What does Friday night mean to you? If it’s the magic of the FA Cup then you’re in luck because tonight, in the world’s oldest cup competition (I think), Tottenham go to Tranmere, Walker-Peters goes to the Wirral, Ben Davies goes to Birkenhead!

Yes, our ‘title challenge’ takes a weekend off as we attempt to make progress in the domestic game’s second most important competition. It presents a proper opportunity, we’re 8-1, fifth favourites (behind Man Utd!) with the bookies to win it, to land the silverware that the media and pundits insist is vital to the manager’s Spurs career. Everyone agrees, erm, apart the Spurs manager.

Poch’s press conference comments regarding his priorities aren’t new, he has higher ambitions and his eyes set on further, more distant horizons. That’s who he is. To Dare is To Do remember? He was though unnecessarily dismissive when faced with leading questions from journalists who knew what answers they were going to get, perhaps he’s saving his Henry V, St Crispian’s Day pep talk for Tuesday – though Shakespeare’s version does contain the line “By Jove, I am not covetous for gold” so maybe it is more relevant to this evening’s visit to Prenton Park after all.

Tranmere lie 9th in League 2. This is their first season back in the 92 after promotion from the National League via the play-offs in May; they were relegated in 2015. The only thing consistent about their record thus far is its inconsistency, DLDWLWLWDD is a crude summary of their last 10 games. They are much much better at home than away, they’ve lost just one league game at Prenton thus far, to Newport, back in September.

James Norwood is their danger man, 18 goals in 29 games. Good work but he has downed tools a bit of late with only 2 goals since the start of December.

I got that information from the Interweb of course, I know little else about Tranmere other than that we have won our last three meetings with them by the same scoreline, 4-0. Current Rovers manager Mickey Mellon came on as sub the last time we played them, in 2002. How about that?

We will play a weakened side and as I always say, will thus give a weakened performance. It will still be an XI good enough to win (I hope), it won’t be a stroll in the Prenton Park though. Last season’s experiences with Rochdale and Newport should be fresh enough in Poch’s mind to remind him that he shouldn’t strip the side entirely of first teamers, we do though have a big game next Tuesday coming up.

As a guess, Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Aurier, Foyth, Sanchez, Skipp, Sissoko, Son, Lucas, Eriksen, Llorente. A guess though.
Andre Marriner is the referee.

Wembley here we come!


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