Home Sports Football FA Cup Spotland trip no problem for Spurs
Spotland trip no problem for Spurs

Spotland trip no problem for Spurs


Five days after producing a brilliant comeback to draw 2-2 at Juventus in the Champions League, Tottenham face a trip to the more mundane surroundings of Spotland for a fifth round FA Cup tie against League One strugglers Rochdale.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team have been handed relatively easy draws so far in the competition having had to dispose of AFC Wimbledon and Newport County, after a replay, and they should have little difficulty seeing off Keith Hill’s side.

Dale beat Championship side Millwall on a muddy, heavily sanded surface in a fourth-round replay but Spurs have the ability to come through this tie, whatever the weather and pitch conditions are like.

Rochdale are at the foot of the League One table and seem certain to be heading back to the fourth flight of English football after a four-season stay at the higher level.

They have only won five league games all season and scored just over one goal per match on average in their first 28 fixtures.

Pochettino will probably rest some of his first-team regulars but a routine 2-0 victory for Spurs looks good value at 21/4, while the odds on there being three goals in the match are 53/20.

There are two all-Premier League matches in the fifth round with The Hawthorns clash between West Brom and Southampton a repeat of the top-flight clash that the Saints won 3-2 just two weeks ago.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s team followed up that encouraging victory with an extremely lacklustre display on Sunday when they slumped to a limp 2-0 home loss to Liverpool – a result that left them back in the bottom three.

The Baggies put up a reasonable show at Stamford Bridge on Monday despite losing 3-0 to Chelsea and Alan Pardew’s team are now seven points away from safety.

Albion did produce a great display to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup in the last round and home advantage could hold the key to Saturday’s match.

It could be a low-scoring affair with the odds on there being under 1.5 goals worth taking up at 19/10 while a 1-0 victory for West Brom can be backed at 7/1.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town will be hoping they can replicate the display they produced in October against Manchester United when they beat Jose Mourinho’s team 2-1 when the two teams meet at the John Smith’s Stadium.

David Wagner’s team recently lost 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League and it is difficult to make a case for the Terriers winning through to the sixth round of the FA Cup.

United are 21/10 to win the match with both teams to score while Mourinho’s team can be backed at 5/4 to score in both halves.

Manchester City make the short trip to the DW Stadium to take on a Wigan Athletic side that have already knocked out Crawley Town, AFC Fylde, Bournemouth and West Ham United.

The match is a repeat of the 2013 FA Cup final which the Latics won 1-0, but so impressive have Pep Guardiola’s team been this season that it would be an even bigger shock if Wigan won Monday’s match.

City remain on course to win four competitions this season while Wigan have lost their last two League One matches – 3-1 at Southend United and 2-0 at home to Blackpool.

Guardiola may decide to bring David Silva, Fabian Delph and Leroy Sane back into his starting line-up as the trio work their way back to full fitness following their injuries and Sane is 27/20 to score at anytime in the match while City are 5/7 to keep a clean sheet.

Leicester City have emerged as potential dark horses to win the FA Cup this season, they can be backed at 12/1 to win the competition for the first time in their history, and as the Foxes won the Premier League two years ago why not?

Claude Puel’s team have beaten Fleetwood Town and Peterborough United to reach this stage and will be expected to see of the challenge of Sheffield United on Friday.

The Blades’ push for a Championship play-off place has stalled of late following their excellent start to the campaign when they won 12 of their first 17 matches and briefly led the table.

They have only triumphed in three of their next 14 games, although they did win the Yorkshire derby against Leeds United last weekend.

Billy Sharp scored twice in that encounter and is 33/10 to score at anytime against Leicester who are 11/2 to win the match from behind.

Chelsea bounced back after a sticky spell to defeat West Brom on Monday and should reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by defeating Championship strugglers Hull City, who are in danger of suffering back-to-back relegations.

Nigel Adkins’ side did at least secure a much-needed win at Nottingham Forest in their last match but they are unlikely to trouble Antonio Conte’s team. Chelsea are 33/10 to win the FA Cup for the fifth time in the last 12 years and 25/4 to beat the Tigers 3-0.

Swansea City’s recent improvement has been excellent and boss Carlos Carvalhal will be keen to beat Sheffield Wednesday, as they axed him in December.

The Owls draw a lot of games but they did record a fine 2-0 win against promotion-chasing Derby County on Tuesday.

Lucas Joao scored both of Wednesday’s goals against the Rams and is 3/1 to score at anytime against the Swans while a 1-1 draw is available at 5/1.

Finally Coventry City’s memorable run in this season’s FA Cup should be brought to an end by Brighton.

The fifth-round draw was not kind to Mark Robins’ side who knocked out Stoke City and MK Dons in the last two rounds.

The Sky Blues’ League Two promotion push has stalled recently and they have lost their last three games. Brighton are 51/20 to win Saturday’s match with both teams to score.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.