Competition: FA Cup: Fifth Round – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace
Venue: White Hart Lane – Sunday, February 21 – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)
Match Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 8/13 – Draw 14/5 – Crystal Palace 19/4
Spurs are enjoying an incredible season and are genuine title contenders at this stage. They have the chance to strengthen their chase for three major trophies with a win here, but there will be question marks over their consistency as a trip to Fiorentina on Thursday may play a factor in Sunday’s performance.
This is a crucial part of the season for Spurs. They are already further in the FA Cup than they managed last year and fans would be forgiven for dreaming of an incredible domestic double.Embed from Getty Images
A few first team players were benched on Thursday and so we’re expecting changes from Mauricio Pochettino.
Tottenham’s 2016 FA Cup run: 3rd Round: Leicester (H) 2-2 – Leicester (A) 2-0 (replay) – 4th Round: Colchester (A) 4-1
Former Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor will return to White Hart Lane for the first time since leaving with Crystal Palace here. Make what you will of what that means, but we’re expecting emotions to run high.
Palace are struggling for form. They haven’t won in the Premier League since December and have only won once in their last seven. That’s simply not good enough for a side that was threatening the top four earlier in the season.Embed from Getty Images
They have, however, seemingly been good in the cup and could still qualify for European football if they can reach the final of this year’s FA Cup. They won’t need any more incentive to win on Sunday, though, with a trip to London rivals Spurs enough motivation for the Eagles.
Crystal Palace’s 2016 FA Cup run: 3rd Round: Southampton (A) 2-1 – 4th Round: Stoke City (H) 1-0
Tottenham have already completed a league double over their London rivals this season, with the most recent meeting coming just a month ago. Spurs came from behind to win 3-1 at Selhurst Park, with Dele Alli’s wonder-goal making the difference.
Tottenham Hotspur are expected to rotate the side that played in Florence on Thursday night, with the highlight changes likely to come at full back as Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are both expected to return. Tom Carroll, Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie are all out and Hugo Lloris is unlikely to feature as he is battling a minor shoulder injury.
Crystal Palace could see Yannick Bolasie, Joe Ledley and Dwight Gayle all return following minor leg injuries. James McArthur and Jason Puncheon are yet to be given return dates.
Tottenham Hotspur’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/W/D
Crystal Palace’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/D/L
Key Stat: Spurs have only lost once in their last 14 matches in all competitions.
Key Player: Emmanuel Adebayor – Say what you will about the big Palace striker but he has a habit of proving to be a match-winner in big-game situations and it wouldn’t surprise us if he produces some magic against his former club here. If Palace are to win, he will be the catalyst on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Crystal Palace – Although Palace have already dispatched of Premier League opposition twice in this year’s FA Cup, we’re not expecting the third outing to be as fortunate. This is a well drilled and talented Tottenham team and it would take something special to beat them on Sunday in the form they’re in.