Tranmere Rovers vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Spurs look to avoid lower league slip up in FA Cup clash
Spurs scrape a draw. (Photo: Getty Images/Simon Stacpoole)

Tranmere Rovers vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Spurs look to avoid lower league slip up in FA Cup clash

Tottenham begin their 2018/19 FA Cup campaign with an away trip to Prenton Park on Friday night. 

Brogan Clasper

Tottenham Hotspur face a trip to Tranmere Rovers on Friday in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Lilywhites face lower league opposition as they did last year when they were drawn against Newport County and then Rochdale.

Spurs will be looking to avoid a similar slip up to which they did last year when they drew against both Newport and Rochdale. 

Spurs struggled last year

Tottenham travelled to Newport County last year in the third round of the FA Cup and experienced quite the shock.

It took an 85th minute Harry Kane equaliser for the Premier League side to avoid being dumped from the competition.

However, Spurs progressed through the replay round.

Rochdale awaited Spurs in the next round and again, Spurs were almost embarrassed by lower league opposition and were forced into a replay. 

This time around, Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping for a much more straightforward affair on Friday.

Rovers currently sit in ninth place in League Two and come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Sol Campbell's Macclesfield Town

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Team news

For the home side, midfielder Ollie Banks could return after recovering from injury and Luke McCullough has been given the all clear to play. 

Erik Lamela will miss the sold-out game at Prenton Park due to illness as well as Victor Wanyama who continues to recover from his knee injury. 

Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele have all returned to first-team training but will not play in the game against Tranmere. 

Pochettino expecting a difficult game 

Ahead of the clash, Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the media where he said he is not expecting an easy ride:

"We know very well if we are not at our best then it's going to be a very difficult game. We are going to be competitive and have a very good team."

Spurs will be well aware of the dangers lower league opposition can prove following their FA Cup campaign last year. 

"We need to be sure we that we show our best face and that we show we're competitive and have the right attitude. That's going to be the key in this type of competition like the FA Cup," the Argentine said. 

The Tranmere manager, Micky Mellon also spoke to the media and spoke of his excitement ahead of the game:

"We've had five games in 14 days which has been tough, but there's a massive game at the end of it, and that's Tottenham.

"It's great that you can have a group of players that were playing in the National League now playing against what the Premier League table says is the second-best team in England - it's brilliant.

"It's what football should be all about."