Tottenham Hotspur aren’t yet assured of progression into the FA Cup fifth round, but if they win today they at least know who their opponent will be. League One side Rochdale knocked off Championship club Millwall 1-0 yesterday evening at Spotland Stadium in their own replay to clinch progression into the next round of the competition. The winner of that match will host the winner of Spurs-Newport County, which kicks off this afternoon at Wembley Stadium.
This is good for Spurs on a couple of levels. Should they get past Newport (and, first leg result aside, playing at Wembley means that there’s a very good chance they’ll do so) they’ll face a Rochdale club that is currently in the relegation zone in League One. This is an improvement over Millwall, which is a mid-table Championship side that’s based in London and has fearsome home support and a rabid fan base.
However, there’s a downside. Remember how god-awful the pitch was at Newport County? By all accounts the Spotland Stadium pitch is even worse.
Further update on the pitch tonight ahead of Rochdale vs. Millwall.— Coral (@Coral) February 6, 2018
Makes Sunday League pitches look like Wembley, this. pic.twitter.com/m2DeFXGmyA
Dear God. Maybe a trip to Rochdale isn’t the gimme that we all think it’s going to be.
Rochdale is also facing a potential FA Cup investigation after Dale supporters rushed the pitch following the win over Millwall, amidst charges that the invading fans abused Millwall players and coaches.
The Fifth Round tie will take place Sunday, February 18.