Tottenham vs Cardiff (preview)
Cardiff City make the trip to North London for the FA Cup 3rd round replay against Tottenham Hotspur. They travelled to local rivals Arsenal at the 3rd round stage last season and were beaten by two well-worked goals from Frenchman Robert Pires. A 0-0 draw at Ninian Park in front of the Sky Cameras netted Cardiff City a return tie and a welcome financial boost but Spurs are a formidable team to face at home, winning 8 and drawing just one of their Premiership league matches at White Hart Lane this season. In addition, Cardiff City are the only side not to have lost in any Cup competition to Spurs this season as they look well set in the League Cup and UEFA Cup so far.
Both sides have played one home game since the goalless draw with Cardiff going down miserably to bottom Championship club Southend United while Tottenham also lost 2-3 to an Obafemi Martins inspired Newcastle United. The Nigerian striker hitting a memorable striker to equalise before Nicky Butt stole the winner from a Martins cross. The two strikers who started against City 9 days ago, Defoe and Berbatov, were both on the scoresheet for the whites.
Spurs have not won a game since inspirational captain Ledley King was sidelined just after Christmas, the defender will not return against Cardiff but is poised for a recall soon. Nevertheless, his absence gives Cardiff a glimmer of hope after causing some problems for Davenport and Dawson last time out. In fact Cardiff just about shaded the game and has in all likelihood missed their chance to progress. Martin Jol admitted after the game that his side had been pleased with a draw but Spurs will fancy their chances against an out-of-form Cardiff side at White Hart Lane.
There is little pressure on Cardiff in a game they are clearly second favourites to win, they have the quality to cause problems for Tottenham but could desperately use an early goal to settle them, or a late goal to snatch it. If the game becomes open, surely Spurs have the extra quality to see off the Bluebirds. Recent signings Jason Byrne, Peter Whittingham and James Simmonds on loan from Chelsea will have boosted squad morale this week and the added competition may inspire some flagging players to raise their game.
We look forward to the game and tentatively anticipate a close encounter between two good footballing sides, C`mon the Bluebirds!!!