The FA Cup Sixth Round features some interesting ties, but one not getting the attention that it deserves is being played at White Hart Lane. Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to win the competition with Mauricio Pochettino eager to secure the first major trophy of his managerial career. Meanwhile, Millwall have been giant killers already this season and they will provide a tough test to Spurs. Although the home side are the overwhelming favourites to reach the semi-final at Wembley, this season’s competition hasn’t always followed logic. There have been a number of surprises and there could be another one this weekend if Tottenham don’t guard against complacency. If Tottenham are on their game then they could pull away with ease like a horse at cheltenhamday.co.uk striding away to victory.
This is a great opportunity for Spurs to win their first major trophy since 2008 when they listed the League Cup. They are beginning to make strides in the right direction under Pochettino as they are consolidating themselves in the top four of the Premier League, but they will want a trophy to mark this era. Success breeds success and lifting the FA Cup could whet the squad’s appetite to challenge for more prestigious titles in the future. There has been a young and hungry squad of players that has been built by Pochettino. However, few have experience of winning trophies and they need to begin in order to adopt a winning mentality if they want to continue developing.
Millwall are coming into the match in great form as they are the only side in the top four divisions who are yet to lose a match in 2017. Meanwhile, they have only conceded two goals in their last 13 matches. They have climbed into the top six in League One and their main focus will be on winning promotion to the Championship. However, they will relish the opportunity of testing themselves against one of the top six teams in the country. They have nothing to fear and after they beat Leicester City in the last round, they have nothing to lose.
The two clubs haven’t met in domestic competition since the 1990 season. Unsurprisingly it is Tottenham who have the better record historically in this fixture. They have won 45 of the 78 fixtures between the two clubs, while Millwall have triumphed on 21 occasions.
Erik Lamela and Danny Rose won’t feature for the home side as both remain on the treatment table. Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier and Harry Winks are possible starters, but it will be a near full-strength side that is put out by Pochettino.
Jordan Archer is a major doubt for the League One side, but he will be eager to be back in time as he was on the books of Tottenham during his youth career. Steve Morrison and Jed Wallace returned from injury last weekend and will be available for the visitors.
Tottenham are unbeaten at White Hart Lane this season in 17 matches, with 11 ending in victories.
Millwall have currently knocked out three Premier League sides in this season’s FA Cup. No lower league side have ever knocked out four (excluding finals) in the history of the competition.
Harry Kane has been in excellent form since the turn of the year and he will be chomping at the bit to help his team reach an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. His goal-scoring exploits have won him a lot of plaudits during the last three seasons, but he will now be hoping to win the first trophy of his playing career. In 2017, the England international has scored 14 goals in 12 matches, including two hat-tricks. He is taking his game to the next level and he now needs to achieve glory to be considered a world class player. The Champions League is the next competition that he must conquer, but before he gets the opportunity to test himself on that stage, he will be wanting to lift the FA Cup. Tottenham are likely to play a strong side on Sunday and the 23-year-old will be looking to repeat his exploits from the last round, when he scored a hat-trick against Fulham. He had a loan spell at Millwall in 2012 and it will be a good occasion for him to play against one of the clubs that he spent time with on loan.
Lee Gregory has been at Millwall since 2014 after starring in the lower leagues. He has been a regular goal-scorer in League One and he will be crucial to the club’s aspirations of winning promotion this season. This season, he has scored 14 goals in the league, but he has yet to net in the FA Cup. There will be no bigger stage than White Hart Lane and if Millwall are to stand a chance of getting to Wembley, they will need to take the chances that come their way. Gregory is likely to start the match up front after scoring twice in their last league game. Steve Morison has Premier League experience and has the physicality to cause Tottenham with serious problems, but he may struggle to get back into the team after Gregory’s recent good form. It is going to be a difficult task for the League One side and they will need their striker to score when he gets the chance. Gregory is the one with confidence and deserves the opportunity to start on Sunday.
The FA Cup semi-finals could feature four of the top six and that will make for an exciting end to the competition. Tottenham are the favourites to progress from this tie and if there is going to be a shock, I don’t think it will come at White Hart Lane. They have been highly professional in the competition to date and they won’t underestimate Millwall. The League One side deserve a lot of respect given their incredible run of form of late, in addition to the fact that they have knocked out three Premier League teams in this year’s competition already. However, it’s unlikely that they will add a fourth scalp. Tottenham should progress on Sunday.
Tottenham 3-0 Millwall