This is another one of the Sunday FA Cup ties involving little and large. While Stevenage have experienced a hugely successful season by their own standards, the League One side are sure to have the odds well and truly stacked against them as they host a Tottenham side who still believe they have a chance of the Premier League title.
Stevenage’s surge up the divisions over recent years is simply phenomenal and at the time of writing, the Broadhall Way outfit also have a chance of a third successive promotion as they occupy 6th position in League One. However, there is no doubt that their chances of success have been altered somewhat over recent weeks, with Boro losing manager Graham Westley after he opted to jump ship and join divisional rivals Preston. Gary Smith was the man who was appointed to replace Westley and on current showing, that move appears to have been a positive one. Boro have won both of the games that Smith has been in charge in, while their league position is not perhaps justified considering the fact that they had three successive postponements. It is also worth mentioning their previous record in the competition, with Smith’s side knocking out Reading in the third round.
There are still plenty of eyes on their opponents meanwhile, with speculation about Harry Redknapp and the England job constantly there. However, Redknapp still has to complete the terrific work he has started at Spurs and he will see the FA Cup as another perfect opportunity to notch a trophy. At the moment, it appears as though this speculation is not impacting his side in the slightest with Spurs thrashing Newcastle in their last outing 5-0. As well as that, the White Hart Lane outfit have lost just once in their last fourteen games in all competitions, which certainly doesn’t bode well for Stevenage.
As for team news, Stevenage are in the fortunate position of having no fresh injury problems for this fixture. However, Gary Smith has been preparing to be without Chuks Aneke, who is ineligible after Arsenal refused permission for him to feature in the competition. Tottenham meanwhile have two absentees, with Younes Kaboul and Rafael van der Vaart poised to miss out as they sit on the treatment table. Kaboul’s absence could pave the way for Ryan Nelson to feature, with the defender yet to make a starting debut since his recent move from Blackburn.
Even though Stevenage have caused more than their fair share of shocks over the years, we think Tottenham are far too the professional outfit to cave in to the League One side this time. In an entertaining game for the neutral, our tip for this clash is going to be a 3-1 Spurs victory.