Colchester upset Championship side Charlton in the previous round but they might have more pressing domestic matters now having since slumped to the foot of League One, seven points from safety. Spurs, meanwhile, have opened up a five point gap to fifth in the Premier League as they look to play their way into next season’s Champions League.
Spurs probably have an eye on picking up some silverware this season as well, with the FA Cup and Europa League realistic targets on current form. A trip to Norwich on Tuesday means they are unlikely to field a full strength XI but they certainly won’t want another replay and should make sure they are strong enough to get the job done, having fallen at this stage on five of the last seven times they reached the fourth round. Of course, they won’t have played a team as lowly ranked as Colchester that often in that time and since 2006/07 their record against lower league teams in the FA Cup is W9-D3-L1 with eight wins by more than one goal. Furthermore, they’ve scored exactly three times in five of their last six Cup matches against teams from League One or Two while conceding just twice in total.
Colchester’s win over Charlton was their only success in nine matches in all competitions since beating Altrincham, currently 19th in the National League, in the previous round. In fact excluding the FA Cup their record is a woeful W0-D3-L11 since late October. No side in England has conceded as many goals this season – no League side is even within 10 – and against a Spurs team that hasn’t failed to score on the road since the opening day of the season they can expect a tough time.
With the likes of Lamela, Chadli and Son likely to start there will be plenty of attacking options for Mauricio Pochettino’s side and the Lilywhites could run riot so there’s an opportunity for us to take a bigger handicap line.
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