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Match Previews

PREVIEW | County host Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates FA Cup

26 January 2018

Newport County AFC and Tottenham Hotspur will meet for just the fifth time when Spurs head to Rodney Parade on Saturday evening. The Exiles will be looking to reach the fifth round of the competition for just the second time in their history, the last time coming in 1949, while Spurs will be looking to add another title to their record of being eight-time winners of the Emirates FA Cup.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round encounter…

 

Last six league matches

Spurs head to Rodney Parade as one of the form sides in the Barclays Premier League having amassed 16 points from the last possible 18 available.

And that run inevitably starts with another Harry Kane hat-trick. Those three goals saw them to a comfortable 3-0 victory over Burnley, as Kane levelled a 22-year record set by Alan Shearer for scoring the most goals during a calendar year in the Premier League.

Kane duly put himself above Shearer in that department with another three-goal haul in Tottenham’s final game of 2017 as they cruised to a 5-2 victory over Southampton.

The 24-year old took his tally for 2017 to a remarkable 39 goals, while Heung Son Min and Christian Eriksen also found their names on the scoresheet. Dusan Tadic and Sofiane Boufal did restore some pride for the Saints on the day, although they couldn’t stop Spurs easing to a comfortable win.

Kane then surprisingly failed to get on the scoresheet in the 2-0 victory at Swansea City. It was Fernando Llorente’s turn to find the net and haunt his old club, while Dele Alli scored with a minute to go in order to further heap pressure onto then Swans manager Paul Clement.

Tottenham then dropped two points at Wembley in the all-London derby with West Ham. Both goals could arguably be nominated for the goal of the season award, Pedro Obiang scoring a 35-yard attempt with 20 minutes to go before Heung Son Min equalised with a strike from a similar distance.

But Spurs returned to winning ways in emphatic style with a 4-0 home victory over Everton. Son scored again to give them a narrow lead before half-time, as a double from Kane and a fourth from Eriksen applied the added gloss to the victory in the second-half.

In their last match, Tottenham played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Southampton in the reverse fixture from Boxing Day.

Davinson Sanchez scored an early own-goal to put the Saints in-front, only for Kane to score yet again to salvage a point.

All those results leave Spurs just outside the top-four in 5th position ahead of their trip to Rodney Parade, meaning they are 71 places higher than County in the English league pyramid.

 

Team-News

 

Spurs could be missing over £70 million worth of talent when they head to South Wales on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is currently unavailable with an unspecified illness while playmaker Christian Eriksen is also unwell.

Academy graduate Harry Winks is currently struggling with an ankle problem, winger Erik Lamela has a bruised gluteus muscle and full-back Serge Aurier has been struck down with a calf complaint.

Danny Rose (knee) and Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) could both be set for a return.  

It still remains unclear as to what sort of side manager Mauricio Pochettino will play at Rodney Parade, as following the match they play Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus.

But it is expected that Pochettino will play a combination of players that played in their last league game against Southampton and last Emirates FA Cup tie with AFC Wimbledon.

 

Team vs Southampton (4-2-3-1): Vorm, Davies, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Aurier, Dembele, Dier, Son, Alli, Sissoko, Kane

 

Team vs AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Vorm, Trippier, Foyth, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Wanyama, Dembele, Lamela, Kane, Llorente  

 

One to Watch – Harry Kane

It is likely that Kane will be etching to play some part in Saturday’s fixture as he seems to score against virtually every team that he faces at a domestic level.

Looking at the Premier League specifically, he has only failed to score against two clubs, those surprisingly turning out to be Cardiff City and Brighton & Hove Albion.  

England forward Kane has scored 128 goals in 194 appearances for Spurs since making his debut in 2011, winning the Premier League golden boot in each of the last two seasons.

He has 33 goals already this term, meaning he is already just shy of his career high 38 which he set last season.

The 24-year old has netted 30+ goals in each of the last four campaigns as he is really starting to assert himself as arguably the best striker in world football at the moment.

Kane has also scored 12 times for England to date, although didn’t find the net at the Euros in 2016, as he looks a clear certainty to captain the side in the future and maybe even overtake Wayne Rooney as the nation’s top scorer with 53 goals.

Somewhat surprisingly, Tottenham’s attacker hasn’t just played exclusively for the Premier League outfit and has had several loans away from the club and even played in the academy for their arch-rivals Arsenal.

Kane has had loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich City and Leicester, playing as low as League 1 in the process.

But you would have to say that he didn’t really reach his goal-scoring heights whilst with any of those clubs, only scoring a combined total of 16 goals from 65 appearances.

To date, Kane has never won a trophy. But he has won several individual awards, including several player-of-the-year awards as-well as many places in various teams of the year.

 

Manager – Mauricio Pochettino

 

Pochettino has been in the dugout at White Hart Lane / Wembley since 27th May 2014 following the dismissal of previous manager Tim Sherwood.

He has managed 196 matches to date, with an impressive win rate of 55.1%. That means Spurs have won on 108 occasions, whilst drawing 45 matches and losing on a further 43 occasions.

That has seen him scoop the Premier League manager of the month award on three occasions whilst with Spurs, although he has so far failed to win a trophy with the club.

And the Argentinian certainly isn’t expecting an easy tie at Rodney Parade as the Emirates FA Cup probably remains his best chance of winning a trophy this campaign.

He said: “We will take the best players to try to win, only thinking about trying to go to the next stage. It will be difficult because the FA Cup is always difficult to play in.

“It’s not about the level or if you play against a Championship, League One or League Two team. It’s one game, it’s Newport and a difficult pitch to play on.

“I saw their games, the last game in the FA Cup against Leeds United. It’s a very physical team with some quality players, and in the end the motivation will be massive for them.

“[We must] put ourselves in the same level as them, with the same motivation, not complain or find excuses but try to believe we’re going to play against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the Champions League.”

Spurs are the second club that the 45-year old has managed in England following his previous spell with Southampton.

He got the Saints into Champions League and Europa League contention during his 16-month stint at St Mary’s following a 38.3%-win rate from 60 matches.

Those spells in England followed his first managerial exploits at old-club Espanyol, where he spent the majority of his playing career.

The 45-year old spent just over three and a half years with the Spanish club before seeing his contract terminated, after the club had dropped to the foot of the La Liga table.

One notable thing from his spell with the club saw them beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp for the first time in 27 years. He also coached nine of his former team-mates whilst with the club.

All that follows on from a 17-year playing career.

That saw Pochettino turn out for Espanyol, Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina, Paris Saint Germain and Bordeaux. He won two Copa Del Rey titles whilst at Espanyol in addition to two competitions with Newell’s Old Boys.

He was also capped 20 times by Argentina, scoring two goals against Spain and Paraguay.

 

Emirates FA Cup record

 

Tottenham Hotspur head to Rodney Parade on Saturday as eight-time winners of the Emirates FA Cup.

The years they won the prestigious competition are as follows:

1900/01, 1920/21, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1966/67, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1990/91. 

That leaves them as the third most successful team in the competition, only behind arch-rivals Arsenal (13) and Manchester United (12.)

The first success for Spurs in 1901 is one reaped in history, as they are currently the only winners of the competition since the inception of the Football League in 1888 to come from the non-league.

That win came in a replay, beating Sheffield United 3-1 after a 2-2 draw in the original game.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were next to be beaten in a 1-0 victory, while Leicester City were also vanquished in a 2-0 scoreline.

Next came a 3-1 success over Burnley, before they came out on top 2-1 in an all London final with Chelsea.

Tottenham were then forced into a replay for two successive years, beating Man City 3-2 after a 1-1 draw in 1981, before sneaking past QPR 1-0 following yet another 1-1 draw in the first fixture.

Their last success came 27 years ago in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Ex-Man City manager Stuart Pearce gave Forest the lead after just 16 minutes, only for Paul Stewart to equalise 10 minutes after half-time. An own-goal in extra-time from Des Walker gifted Spurs the trophy, as ex-County manager Justin Edinburgh played the full 120 minutes.

Tottenham team vs Nottingham Forest (4-5-1): Thorstvedt, Edinburgh, Van Den Hauwe, Sedgley, Howells, Mabbutt (C), Stewart, Gascoigne, Samways, Lineker, Allen

Manager: Terry Venables

Spurs were also runners-up in 1987, where they lost 3-2 to Coventry City despite leading in the game on two separate occasions.

 

Previous meetings

 

The two clubs have met on four previous occasions with Spurs winning by quite comfortable margins each time.

County and Spurs have only been in the same league on one occasion, that coming in the post-war 1946/47 season.

Tottenham won 4-2 in the first meeting between the sides on 19th September 1946 before completing the league double with a 3-1 home victory just under a month later on 7th October 1946.

They then met for the first time in the Emirates FA Cup on 24th January 1959.

Ken Hollyman scored County’s goal that afternoon, the last goal to be scored against Spurs by the Ironsides, this one a stunning 40-yard strike that flew past goalkeeper John Hollowbread and straight into the top corner at White Hart Lane.

Spurs also scored four in the most recent meeting between the two sides. Goals from Bobby Smith, a double from Leslie Brace and another from captain Jackie Blanchflower saw the away side safely through to the next round of the competition on that occasion on 9th January 1960.

 

Officials

 

Referee: Roger East

Assistant Referee 1: Gary Beswick

Assistant Referee 2: Harry Lennard

Fourth Official: Oliver Langford

East is currently embarking on his fourth year as a top division referee having been promoted to the select group of Premiership officials for the start of the 2013/14 season.

However, his first game in the top flight came in the season before that as East was given a few games trial.

That game also involved a Welsh side as Swansea City drew 2-2 with Sunderland on 1st September 2012. Two yellow cards and one red card were produced.

He has also spent several years in the Conference and the Football League, being promoted from the Conference in preparation for the 2006/07 season.

East has taken charge of 18 matches so far this campaign, which can be broken down into 11 Premiership games, four Championship matches, two League One games and the Emirates FA Cup Third Round tie between Bolton and Huddersfield.

The last of those matches came on Saturday 20th January as Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City played out a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough.

East brandished four yellow cards during the game, taking his tally for the season to 62 yellow cards and two red cards from the 18 matches.

That follows on from his record in the 2016/17 season which reads as 140 yellow cards and five red cards from 33 matches.

 

County Connection

 

This will be the first time that East has ever refereed a game involving Newport County AFC and will subsequently be his visit to Rodney Parade.

He has, however, officiated our visitors on several occasions, including once already this season.

That came in Spurs’ 5-1 home victory over Stoke City in December, as Mousa Dembele was cautioned.

East will be a familiar name to Exiles striker Paul Hayes as he was the man in the middle for Hayes’ two goals at White Hart Lane last season for Wycombe Wanderers, although Spurs eventually came through that tie 4-3 thanks to a stoppage time winner from Son Heung-Min.

Spurs were refereed on three occasions in 2014/15 by East, the first of which saw them gather another five-goal haul in the victory at Bournemouth.

He also took charge of their 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle, in addition to the 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

That leaves only one other occasion in which East has officiated Saturday’s visitors, that coming in a 1-1 draw with Burnley on the 5th January 2015 in an Emirates FA Cup match.

 

Can’t make the match?

 

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the Club’s official Facebook, Snapchat (OfficialExiles) and Instagram pages.

As the game is a cup match, no live showing of this fixture will occur on iFollow Exiles but the game will be live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 4K UHD from 17:00pm. Commentary of the game by Charlie Brown and Richard Shepherd can also be found at the Match Centre from 5:15pm.


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