Norwich City will visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for just the second time ever on Wednesday evening for an all-Premier League FA Cup Fifth Round tie.
Spurs appointed Jose Mourinho as their new manager in November 2019 with the hope that he’d help bring an end to their run of 12 years without a trophy and will be keen to do that by winning this competition.
On the other hand, the Canaries have reached this stage of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012. The Premier League’s bottom team are set to be backed by 9,000 visiting supporters for this game, which has to be finished on the night (extra time and penalties are a possibility).
In his pre-match press conference, Tottenham boss Mourinho announced that Ryan Sessegnon is back in contention for the visit of the Canaries after missing the games against Chelsea and Wolves due to an issue with his hip. There is also a chance that Argentinian winger Erik Lamela will make a return to the match day squad.
However, Spurs captain Hugo Lloris is still recovering from a groin problem, and will definitely miss out, along with Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Moussa Sissoko, who are all expected to be out of action for longer periods of time.
City head coach Daniel Farke revealed that usual regulars Alexander Tettey and Teemu Pukki are major doubts for the trip to North London, with both players suffering from a cold. German goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann will also be unavailable due to personal reasons.
Christoph Zimmermann, Onel Hernandez, Timm Klose and Sam Byram will all miss out too, leaving Farke with a smaller number of options than he might have liked.
How did the two teams get to this stage?
Wednesday evening will mark Norwich’s third consecutive FA Cup away game this season, having reached the Fifth Round with two wins on the road, both of which being collected in Lancashire. 19-year-old Adam Idah’s hat-trick helped City to a 4-2 win at Preston on January 4, before goals from Grant Hanley and Josip Drmic secured a 2-1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor three weeks later.
Tottenham’s progress into the Fifth Round has not been quite as simple, having been forced to play four games in order to make it through their previous two ties. Middlesbrough and Southampton both forced the Lilywhites into a replay, but neither were successful in the end, with Mourinho’s side proving to be too strong at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on those occasions.
Meetings this season
Norwich have collected just one point from their two league meetings with Spurs this term, but their performances in both games will give them some encouragement ahead of this tie.
On January 22, a fortunate goal scored by Son secured a 2-1 home victory for Tottenham over the Canaries, with Mourinho recently revealing that he believed his side were “very lucky to win that match.”
Less than a month earlier, the two sides drew 2-2 at Carrow Road, a game which also could have ended very differently, had Pukki not had a goal controversially chalked off by VAR in the first half.
Spurs are likely to view Wednesday’s fixture as a good chance to arrest their recent struggles, having lost their last three games in all competitions. It is only the fourth time that Mourinho has suffered that number of consecutive defeats in his managerial career.
Meanwhile, the Canaries’ 1-0 victory over Leicester City last weekend ended their run of five Premier League games without a win. Their primary aim will be to survive relegation, but they might also relish the prospect of a trip to Wembley, should they reach the semi-finals.