Tottenham Hotspur vs Rochdale Preview: Spurs look to advance to FA Cup quarter-finals at second attempt

Tottenham Hotspur vs Rochdale Preview: Spurs look to advance to FA Cup quarter-finals at second attempt

Will Tottenham avoid a repeat of the first tie, and advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals?


Tottenham face a visit from Rochdale after a surprise 2-2 draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The visitors secured a replay at Wembley thanks to a smart finish by Steve Davies in the last minute of stoppage time.

With Manchester City cruising their way to the Premier League title, Spurs will be looking to advance in hope of maintaining their chance at winning their first piece of silverware in 10 years.

The first meeting

On a newly laid surface, Rochdale shone against Premier League opposition. Missing a few regulars, Spurs still fielded a strong starting eleven who - at times - struggled against a positive, well-organised Keith Hill side.

After five years in charge at the Spotland Stadium, Hill would be forgiven for enjoying the trip to Wembley. However, he has insisted that this FA Cup fifth round replay is "no day out" for his players. The energy and pressing displayed in the opening half of the first tie may be difficult to replicate, playing on Wembley's large surface.

They'll have to look for a repeat of big performances from key players Ian Henderson and Callum Camps. Striker Henderson scored the opening goal and midfielder Camps played an integral part in the Dale's win. 

Spurs rotation

Mauricio Pochettino has said that he will rotate as he did in the first fixture. Belgian defensive duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will be out with their own respective injuries. Davinson Sánchez and Juan Foyth look set to replace Spurs' first choice centre-backs.

After scoring on his full debut, Lucas Moura looks set to start again. When speaking about the squad Pochettino said that "We have a lot of players that wait for their opportunity and of course we are going to be more happy when all are fit, but if something happens like in the last week with Jan or with Toby, who for nearly four months now has been out, of course, you need the squad. We are ready to compete." Even with the changes, Spurs will certainly be the stronger of the two sides.

Swansea next

The winner of this tie will face Swansea City in the quarter-finals.Tonight, they won their 2-0 replay against Sheffield Wednesday to take them into the last eight of the FA Cup. Spurs are unbeaten against the Welsh side in the Premier League this season. Drawing 0-0 at Wembley in 2017, and then defeating Carlos Carvalhal's side 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium this past January.

If Rochdale are to complete an unlikely comeback, they will be facing Swansea for the first time in 13 years. It will also be a second trip to Premier League opposition for the League one side.