Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 1/8
The FA Cup returns this weekend for another instalment of one of the most interesting and unpredictable cup competitions in the world. Teams from England’s top league to the very bottom will have desires of winning the FA Cup, while the so-called underdogs will want to be given the chance of completing a famous giant-killing moment. With this in mind, Wimbledon have been handed an incredible chance to write themselves into history as they travel to play Tottenham at Wembley.
Tottenham have been in good form in recent weeks and they will be looking to continue this positive run by extending their stay in the FA Cup. In the Premier League they have played 22 games, of which they have won 12, drawn five and lost five, while they have scored 42 goals and conceded 21 times. In their last five games, they have won three times and drawn once, with their last defeat coming five games ago. While their run has been impressive, they still find themselves 21 points short of Manchester City at the top of the table, with their Premier League title challenge left in tatters. This means that Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be looking to win as many cup competitions as possible, with an FA Cup triumph likely to constitute a partially successful season. If Tottenham are to utilise their vast riches going forward, then Wimbledon will have to find a way to stifle Harry Kane. The English-striker has 24 goals in all competitions this season and he is averaging a goal every 91 minutes. However, Kane may be given the day off, opening the door for either Fernando Llorente (two goals and one assist) or Son Heung-min (10 goals and three assists), with both forwards adept at leading the line for the London side. Dele Alli may look at this game as a superb chance to rekindle his ailing form, while he will want to add to his nine goals and nine assists this season, and he could likely spark a rout for his side.
Danny Rose’s knee injury is not thought to be a serious one, but he remains a doubt for the FA Cup clash against Wimbledon, while Toby Alderweireld remains absent with a hamstring injury.
Wimbledon will be looking to complete one of the biggest giant killings in recent history on Sunday as they take on Spurs. After 25 games in League One, they have won just seven games, while they have drawn six times and lost 12 matches, scoring just 22 goals and conceding 31 times. This has left the visiting side in 21st-place in the league with 27 points, a point behind Oldham Athletic and safety. Recent form suggests that they will struggle on Sunday as they have just two wins in their last five, drawing one and losing the other two matches. Considering their precarious position in the league, Wimbledon may benefit from an early exit from the FA Cup to focus on theirr survival bid, however, any win over Tottenham at the Home of Football would see confidence skyrocket, and it could set Wimbledon on a successful path further into the FA Cup, providing some respite from their difficult league campaign. Lyle Taylor is the away side’s top scorer with 11 goals and three assists, but there is a large gap between him and their second-highest scorer, with Cody McDonald having netted four goals and picking up two assists. It is clear that Wimbledon will need Taylor on top form if they are to have any real chance of toppling their Premier League opposition.
Barry Fuller is in contention to play after an ankle injury, while Cody McDonald (foot) and Jon Meades (hamstring) are both able to feature for the side.
Tottenham have scored 42 goals in 22 league games, whereas Wimbledon have scored just 22 times in 25 League One games.
It is only the second time Wimbledon have played Premier League opposition, with the last game coming against Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat in January 2015.
Wimbledon’s top scorer in all competitions is Lyle Taylor with 11 goals, while Harry Kane has netted 24 times for Tottenham.
In order to get to this point, Wimbledon have already beaten Lincoln City 1-0 in the first round, before they bested Charlton 3-1 in round two.
As a team, Wimbledon have only scored 24 goals, with Harry Kane netting just six less in the Premier League having played three fewer games.
Wimbledon will feel that if they can start quickly, then they will be able to get under Tottenham’s skin and force mistakes from their Premier League opposition. However, on recent form and quality of players, there is surely only one winner with Mauricio Pochettino able to rest much of his first-team and still put out a very strong starting XI.
Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 1/8
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