By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Rochdale welcome in-form Tottenham Hotspur to Spotland in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday afternoon. 

Spurs will be looking to make the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year and will be hoping to go on to end their trophy drought.

The Premier League side will be boosted with confidence by their impressive results in their last few games, as they beat Arsenal in the North London derby and made an impressive comeback in their Champions League 2-2 draw against Juventus in Turin. 

Rochdale faced some criticism about their heavily sanded pitch following their fourth round replay against Millwall, however, the League One side have relaid the pitch prior to this match.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of this clash at Spotland...

 Previous Encounter

The meeting on Sunday will be the first competitive meeting of any kind between these two sides. However, Rochdale have lost their last six FA Cup ties against top-flight opposition, since beating Coventry 2-1 in January 1971.

Tottenham 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 losing 1-2 against Port Vale in January 1988. 

Spurs striker Harry Kane made his professional debut at Spotland, whilst on loan at Leyton Orient, but the England striker looks doubtful for this game with an ankle injury. 

Key Battle

Fernando Llorente vs James McNulty

Stu Forster/GettyImages

Fernando Llorente will be most likely leading the line for his team in this FA Cup fixture as Kane is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury against Juventus. 

Llorente has struggled to hit the ground running at Spurs whilst being the shadow of England superstar Kane, but will be using Sunday's lesser opponents to break the goal-scoring drought. 

The Spanish striker will be hoping to grab a few goals but will be up against Englishman James McNulty. McNulty has travelled the country a little, playing for many clubs in a short space of time, even making 15 appearances for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion in 2009 till 2011.  

With both players involved in this duel comfortably over 6ft, the aerial battles could prove challenging for both players. 

Team News

The home side have been dealt a big blow with striker Calvin Andrew ruled out of the FA Cup fixture because of an Achilles injury. The 31-year-old's Achilles problem is worse than first thought and he is struggling to put any weight on his foot.

Sam Hart, Scott Wiseman, Billy Knott and Alex Dobre are all cup-tied.

For the away side, Mauricio Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference that Harry Kane was doubtful with an ankle injury and will be assessed before the match. Lucas Moura is set to make his full debut, with Toby Alderweireld potentially in the starting eleven too. 

Potential Rochdale Starting Lineup: Lilis; Daniels, McNulty, Delaney; Rafferty, Cannon, Camps, Kitching, Done; Humphrys, Henderson. 

Potential Tottenham Starting Lineup: Gazzaniga; Rose, Alderwierld, Foyth, Aurier; Winks, Wanyama; Sissoko, Lamela, Lucas; Llorente. 



In-form Tottenham look favourites to beat League One side Rochdale with their current stunning form. Even though Kane may not start, they still have the quality of Danny Rose, Fernando Llorente and Harry Winks all potentially in the starting eleven.

Once Tottenham begin scoring, they could cause real issues and run rampant to victory. 

Prediction: Rochdale 1- 3 Tottenham 

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)