Tottenham Hotspur have two young strikers out on loan this season. They’ve somehow managed to draw both of those clubs in the FA Cup. One day after Tottenham rolled out a 1-0 home win over Portsmouth (who feature Tottenham academy graduate Dane Scarlett), Spurs were drawn away to Preston North End (who feature Troy Parrott).
It’s kind of funny and ultimately not that significant, considering neither Scarlett nor Parrott are allowed to play against Spurs due to the loan rules. But still — wow. What a coincidence, huh?
Also, it’s a pretty good draw, all things considered. Preston are a deeply weird team and have struggled a little this season — they’re 10th in the table, and have done so based on their defense. They typically line up with a 5-4-1 formation, and they’ve only conceded 26 goals this season, the joint-third best defensive record in the league. That said, they’ve only scored 24 league goals, which puts them next to bottom in the Championship. That makes it in hindsight probably not the best place to send Troy, who has only scored one goal in about 900 minutes of action, but that’s another article.
It’s an intriguing matchup though, since even though they’re playing at Deepdale, PNE are likely to sit super deep and defend, and we’ve seen plenty of evidence to suggest that Conte’s Tottenham team has often struggled to break down teams in a defensive posture. However, Preston’s beatable — plenty of teams have seen to that already — and Spurs should absolutely be favored to win this.
Elsewhere, the big tasty matchup in the fourth round is the winner of tomorrow’s Oxford vs. Arsenal match traveling to face the winner of Manchester City vs. Chelsea (which is currently in progress at the time of this article posting). Brighton also had a tough matchup, drawing home to the winner of the Liverpool/Wolves replay. Non-league darlings Wrexham, co-owned by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, drew a tasty home matchup against Sheffield United.
Here’s the full draw. The matches will take place the weekend of January 27, exact dates and times TBA.
- PRESTON NORTH END vs TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
- SOUTHAMPTON vs BLACKPOOL
- WREXHAM vs SHEFFIELD UNITED
- IPSWICH vs BURNLEY
- MANCHESTER UNITED vs READING
- LUTON TOWN or WIGAN ATHLETIC vs GRIMSBY
- DERBY COUNTY vs WEST HAM UNITED
- STOKE CITY vs ASTON VILLA or STEVENAGE
- BLACKBURN ROVERS vs FOREST GREEN ROVERS or BIRMINGHAM CITY
- WALSALL vs LEICESTER CITY
- SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY vs FLEETWOOD TOWN
- MANCHESTER CITY or CHELSEA vs OXFORD or ARSENAL
- BRISTOL CITY or SWANSEA CITY vs CHESTERFIELD or WEST BROMWICH ALBION
- BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION vs LIVERPOOL or WOLVES
- FULHAM vs SUNDERLAND
- BOREHAM WOOD or ACCRINGTON STANLEY vs CARDIFF CITY or LEEDS UNITED