Praying for better fortunes in the FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur prepare to welcome League One outfit Morecambe to North London for the third round on Sunday afternoon.
The Lilywhites enter the contest on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final, while the Shrimps prevailed 4-3 in a thriller with Doncaster Rovers.
Antonio Conte’s return to Stamford Bridge turned out to be a miserable affair in midweek, with the ex-Chelsea boss admitting that his side are still some way off the quality of the European champions after going down 2-0 in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg.
Kai Havertz put the Blues in the ascendancy before a comical own goal from Ben Davies killed the game off before the half-time whistle blew, and Spurs are arguably fortunate that they are realistically still in the tie ahead of next week’s second leg.
That 2-0 defeat ended a nine-game domestic unbeaten run for Conte since his arrival in North London, and the Italian pulled no punches after the final whistle as Spurs fans await some potential new incomings in the January transfer window.
Tottenham last lifted the FA Cup back in 1991 and managed to make it as far as the semi-finals two years running in 2017 and 2018, but early exits have become a bit of a habit since then, bowing out in the fifth round to Everton in a thrilling contest at Goodison Park last term.
Despite the manner of their defeat to London rivals Chelsea in midweek, Spurs remain unbeaten in seven home games under Conte – winning six of them – so Morecambe will need to pull out all the stops to record a mammoth result.
After a dismal Christmas period saw Morecambe fail to win any of their final six games of 2021, the Shrimps kicked off 2022 with an entertaining watch for the neutrals, sinking Doncaster 4-3 in front of the home crowd during a spectacular comeback.
Stephen Robinson’s men were seemingly down and out after entering half time 3-0 down, but one would have paid good money to be a fly on the wall during that team talk, as Cole Stockton (2), Toumani Diagouraga and substitute Jonathan Obika completed a magnificent second-half turnaround.
Robinson will certainly be praying that such a miraculous comeback will act as the catalyst for better fortunes in 2022, with that win representing only Morecambe’s second victory from their last 14 in League One as they continue to flirt with danger.
The visitors have already claimed two 1-0 wins over Newport County and Buxton to make it this far in the FA Cup, but their run in the tournament also came to an end in the third round last year to London opposition in Chelsea, who marched to a simple 4-0 win.
Sunday’s game will mark the first-ever clash between Tottenham and Morecambe in any competition, and questions will certainly be asked if the League One club can pull off a historic giant killing on the North London turf.
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
Morecambe FA Cup form:
Morecambe form (all competitions):
We say: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Morecambe
Morecambe’s never-say-die attitude truly came to the fore against Doncaster, and the visitors will be fired-up to the maximum for this occasion, but Spurs should do their talking on the pitch.
The Lilywhites faithful will most likely have one eye on the transfer window over the weekend as well, but Conte’s men should cruise to a comfortable win regardless.