After a fast start under new manager Jose Mourinho last November, kicking off his tenure with three straight wins, Tottenham Hotspur have struggled, and have likely lost superstar striker Harry Kane to injury for the duration of the 2019-2020 campaign. Sitting six points off of a Champions League place, the Spurs' best chance at a trophy may come in England's longest-running competition, the FA Cup. But first, they must somehow find a way to defeat Southampton FC on the road on Saturday.
The clubs will meet for the third time this season when they square off in an FA Cup fourth-round match. The two clubs split their previous two Premier League clashes, with the home side winning each one. The second confrontation came less than four weeks ago, on New Year's Day, when the Saints frustrated the Spurs at St. Mary's Stadium, keeping a clean sheet to protect a 17th-minute goal by Danny Ings, and hanging on for a 1-0 win. That game was a fateful one for Tottenham, as it saw Kane depart with the torn hamstring that appears to have ended his season.
The Spurs took the league match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, 2-1.
Heading into Saturday's FA Cup knockout match, the Spurs will not only be absent Kane's services, but midfielder Harry Winks will also join the injured list, along with Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko, according to SB Nation.
A preview of the FA Cup 4th-Round showdown can be viewed in the video below.Nonetheless, the Spurs come in as very marginal favorites on the oddsmakers' books. Southampton have been assigned odds of 15-8 to win, according to Britain's Evening Standard newspaper. Meanwhile, Tottenham are listed at 3-2. Bookmakers are offering odds of 13-5 that the match will end in a draw, which would necessitate that the Spurs play their second FA Cup replay in a row.
In their 3rd-round match, taking on 17th-place Championship side Middlesbrough FC, the Spurs suffered a 1-1 stalemate on January 5, only to grind their way to a 2-1 win nine days later.
The Saints, however, cruised past the 20th-place, second-tier, Huddersfield Town, 2-0, after losing their last three FA Cup matches, according to Soccer Times.
The Spurs have generally seen good results in the venerable tournament, winning nine of their last 11 FA Cup matches. They have not taken home the cup since 1991.
Tottenham have struggled in the early stages of 2020. Until the replay win over Middlesbrough, the club had not won a match in any competition since a Boxing Day clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Southampton FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup 4th Round showdown kicks off at 3 p.m. GMT — but there will be no live television coverage in the U.K. In the U.S., the game gets underway at 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT, on ESPN+.