The concluding part of January’s Leicester/Tottenham trilogy offers Spurs a chance of revenge after a damaging defeat to the Foxes in the league a week ago. And with a 4th Round tie against a Colchester side battling relegation in League One awaiting the winners there is an extra incentive to get the win.
Leicester were very unlucky not to win this tie at the first attempt as they were denied by a dubious late penalty but they will be confident of getting a result here having last tasted defeat at the King Power back in September. There were signs that the busy schedule of the past month combined with the pressure of becoming serious title contenders might be taking its toll at the weekend, as they struggled in the second half at Aston Villa. However, the home support should give them a lift and they’ve lost just one of their last 11 home games in the FA Cup. Their last two home games have both finished 0-0 but one was an excellent point against Man City and the other featured a Riyad Mahrez penalty miss, so the different circumstances of this match could lead to a more open affair.
Neither side will want this to go to penalties and there has been just one drawn Third Round replay between two Premier League teams in the 10 contested since 2003/04. That hasn’t meant these games have been full of goals though, as six had just the single strike, but of the six matches to be level at half-time five saw a definitive result after 90 minutes.
While that sample of replays might not have seen lots of goals the opposite is true for Leicester’s Cup matches as 11 of their last 12 FA Cup games against Premier League teams have had at least three goals. Similarly, Spurs’ last 10 matches in the Cup have had 37 goals in total, while their last five replays have all had at least four strikes.
With doubts about the level of rotation from the two managers it’s probably best to avoid the match outcome in this game. However, there looks to be every chance of more goals and with nine of Spurs’ last 10 away matches in all competitions seeing a first-half goal that should really open up the match if it happens again.
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