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Rochdale vs Tottenham Hotspur. The FA Cup Fifth Round.


Rochdale 2

  • I Henderson (45th minute)
  • S Davies (93rd minute)

Tottenham Hotspur 2

  • Lucas Moura (59th minute)
  • H Kane (88th minute pen)

Rochdale v Tottenham preview: Lucas Moura set for first start in FA Cup fifth-round tie

Lucas Moura could make his first Tottenham start since joining from PSG
Image: Lucas Moura could make his first Tottenham start since joining from Paris Saint-Germain

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to ring the changes at Rochdale in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday (kick-off 4pm), with Lucas Moura in line to start.

Harry Kane is likely to miss out after picking up a knock but Moura and Fernando Llorente are expected to come in against the side rock bottom in League One.

Following victories against Manchester United and Arsenal, and their Champions League draw in Turin, Spurs will be expected to comfortably seal their progression through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

But Pochettino is expecting Rochdale to provide a sterner test of his in-form side's credentials than their north London rivals or Juventus.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has apologised to Rochdale over comments he made about the pitch at Spotland ahead of their FA Cup tie

"What is important is to forget what happened in Turin or against Arsenal," Pochettino said.

"We don't have time to enjoy that we won the derby, or our draw in Turin and how we played in the Champions League on Tuesday night. This is a different game, a different competition and it will be tough.

"For me it will be a tougher game than Juventus or Arsenal because it is a challenge to be motivated in a competition that we want to go far in, but you have to perform at your best if you want to win."

Also See:

Rochdale manager Keith Hill
Image: Rochdale manager Keith Hill is looking forward to seeing a full house at Spotland

Rochdale manager Keith Hill said the issues with the club's old pitch had been exaggerated, but added the new playing surface, installed at the cost of several hundred thousand pounds, was "very good".

He said: "It played better than it looked against Millwall, there were no complaints from any of the players or the manager before the game or after the game and it's been sensationalised.

"The pitch probably would have stood up to the weekend's fixture but the club have gone the extra mile, they've invested heavily in a brand new surface, which should befit Tottenham and ourselves alike."

Rochdale have only had three promotions in 111 years, and Sunday's FA Cup visit of Spurs offers a rare moment in the limelight

Team news

Rochdale will be without experienced striker Calvin Andrew after manager Keith Hill admitted his Achilles injury is worse than first thought.

The 31-year-old missed the side's 3-2 defeat by Bristol Rovers on Tuesday and he is expected to be sidelined this weekend. Niall Canavan (ankle) and Keith Keane (groin) remain long-term absentees.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane reacts after missing a chance during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and
Image: Striker Harry Kane is a major doubt for Spurs with an ankle injury

Spurs' Premier League top scorer Harry Kane could be absent from the FA Cup tie with an ankle complaint, but will be assessed by the club on Saturday ahead of the game.

There are no other injury worries for Spurs, with Toby Alderweireld fit and available after missing the trip to Juventus on Tuesday.

Opta stats

This will be the first competitive meeting of any kind between these two sides.

Rochdale have lost their last six FA Cup ties against top-flight opposition, since beating Coventry 2-1 in January 1971.

Spurs have progressed from 16 of their last 17 FA Cup ties against lower league opponents, losing only to Leeds in the fourth round in 2012-13. They've not lost to a side in the third-tier or lower in the competition since January 1988 (1-2 vs Port Vale).

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06:  Ian Henderson of Rochdale AFC celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match
Image: Ian Henderson scored the winner for Rochdale against Millwall in round four

The Lilywhites are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign.

Rochdale have never reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, last making it this far in the 2002-03 campaign before losing to Wolves.

Harry Kane made his professional debut at Spotland in January 2011, while turning out on loan for Leyton Orient. The England striker has scored seven goals in his last five FA Cup appearances.

Charlie's prediction

I thought we were going have a good old gritty cup tie and then Rochdale decided to put down a new pitch.

Mauricio Pochettino will make a good few changes because that show of mental strength in Juventus will have been a really draining experience.

Fernando Llorente and Moussa Sissoko will come in as Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, in particular, need a rest. Heung-Min Son should start and with the new pitch, I think Spurs will get the job done.

I think this will be another game for Toby Alderweireld to be eased back in again. I don't think there is anything more to his absence than managing his recovery because Pochettino is a very honest and open man.

Charlie predicts: 0-2 and Son to score first (13/1 with Sky Bet)

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