Fan Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Peterborough United

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It’s the Posh on Saturday as Spurs take on Peterborough United in the FA Cup third round at White Hart Lane. We could’ve had a worse draw; Peterborough are bottom of the Championship with no away wins having struggled this season after successive promotions in the last couple of years. Darren Ferguson was asked to shut the door behind him in November after leading the club to those two promotions. It’s hard to imagine what more he could’ve done, win a cup perhaps? It’s clearly a tough world in the Fens.

The game’s a sell out which means there’ll be 4,000+ away fans present to cheer their team on and it’ll be a team that’s full of confidence as they’re fresh from scoring four in the second half against high flying Cardiff City on Monday.  Unfortunately for them, they let in four in the first half.

Charlie Lee is the only ex-Spur in their squad, though he never played a first team game for us. Joe Lewis in goal is a probably their best known player having made a few appearances for England U21’s including one as sub as an outfield player. He also made it into a full England squad last summer.

Peterborough have a place in our history as, and I’m happy to be corrected on this, the only domestic team we’ve ever beaten in a penalty shoot out. In January 1994 we drew 1-1 at London Rd in the FA Cup, (also the third round), thanks to a very very late Jason Dozzell goal.  In the replay Nick Barmby gave us the lead but Ken Charlery equalised and that game also ended 1-1.  We won the shoot out 5-4 and I can remember being very embarrassed as Ian Walker celebrated his save from a 16 year old Posh YTS trainee as though he’d just denied Eusebio, Cruyff and Pele in one triple save. If I’d known that 16 years we were still waiting for our next shoot out win, I might not have felt so churlish.

It’s unlikely we’ll put out our full first team, a side akin to the one that were so pathetic at Old Trafford is probable. We’ve still got threats of suspension hanging over Huddlestone, Palacios and Jenas as they’re all sitting on four yellow cards and with a visit to Anfield as our next league game we could do without losing any of them. Notwithstanding the unwelcome possibility of having no central midfielders available Harry will want to give players a rest if possible anyway. Maybe we’ll see Pav & Bentley in a Spurs shirt just one more time.

Lee Mason is scheduled to referee, he’s taken us just once this season, in our only other cup game at WHL, the 2-0 win over Everton in October.

Anyway it promises to be a good old-fashioned rousing occasion that we’d be stupid to be complacent about. No one will want to draw us in the next round should we get through, but Peterborough have nothing to lose and we’d be wise not to count our chickens.

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By MF

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