For the first time this season, Tottenham have now gone two games without scoring a goal. In theory, a home FA Cup tie against a third tier side, should be the perfect game for us to get back on the goal trail.
Life however, is never that simple. The third tier side that we’re meeting are top of their league and have just knocked Manchester United out of the cup. At Old Trafford.
That performance by Leeds shows what we can expect from them. Leeds will work hard to deny us space and when they get the ball they’ve the ability to pass it, with the pacy Beckford a convenient outlet for swift counter attacks.
On that day they had to defend in numbers, as Rooney and company pressed for an equaliser, but Leeds were not found wanting. After two games in which Spurs have failed to break down opponents who have done little more than defend enthusiastically, there’s no reason to believe that we’ll have it easy against Leeds.
None of Defoe, Crouch or Keane are in great form at the moment and we won’t be playing Pavlyuchenko for fear of getting him cup-tied and therefore a less attractive proposition to potential Premier League suitors. I wouldn’t want to bet on which combination Harry will go with, but let’s just hope that they deliver.
I would expect that we’ll rotate the side a little, with Fulham to come on Tuesday night. O’Hara is available, as he didn’t turn out for Portsmouth in the third round and it will be interesting to see if he gets any action. If he’s completely left out again, it may suggest that we’re trying to offload him (on-loan or otherwise) and don’t want to see him cup-tied. I hope we give him a chance, because we don’t have many options in that area of the field.
I’d also like to see the likes of Naughton, Rose and Dos Santos (or at least one of them) play. All of them have pace, which is something that has been severely lacking in the past two games.
In defence, Bale will get another opportunity to continue his pleasing run of form, while Dawson should be partnered by Bassong in defence. Let’s hope that he’s got his shorts on this time. I’d expect Corluka to step down to give Hutton a game, which should give us more options going forward.
Of course you’ve got to back us against a League 1 side, even if Leeds are clearly no pushovers. I’d expect a narrow victory by a margin of one or two goals, which will hopefully restore some of our confidence going into the next Premier League fixtures.