After wins over Portsmouth and Preston North End, it looked like Tottenham Hotspur was destined for a third-straight favorable FA Cup draw as Wrexham continued its miracle run, but ultimately it was Sheffield United that came out on top to earn a date with Spurs in the Fifth Round.
Nevertheless, this is still a good tie for Tottenham, who will again be favorited against a Championship side. While Sheffield United in on track to return to the Premier League after a couple year hiatus, any matchup against a lower-league team is good at this stage, especially with plenty of important fixtures already on the calendar.
Spurs are rounding into form in the league and still have a good shot to advance in the Champions League, but it feels worthwhile to keep progressing in the FA Cup. Cristian Stellini could rotate a bit on Wednesday and still feel confident, and with half of the big six already eliminated, Tottenham might as well do its best to stay alive.
Fifth Round: Sheffield United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Date: Wednesday, March 1
Time: 2:55 pm ET, 7:55 pm UK
Location: Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England
TV: ESPN+ (US), BBC One (UK)
The Blades are looking improved over last season’s fifth-place finish and are currently in second place in the Championship. However, they have dropped two of their past three matches, both against teams in the top five in the table, showing that sailing is not always as smooth when the quality of competition increases.
Tottenham won both fixtures the last time Sheffield United was in the Premier League, with Gareth Bale scoring a hat trick in May 2021, the most recent matchup. These two sides also met in the 2014/15 League Cup semifinals, of course, which was decided by Christian Eriksen’s brace at Bramall Lane in the rain.
Stellini (and/or Antonio Conte) chose the same starting XI against both West Ham and Chelsea, so there are definitely some changes to be made. Ivan Perisic and Pedro Porro have been (temporarily?) replaced by more stable wingback options, while Davinson Sanchez and Pape Matar Sarr could also use some minutes. No matter who starts up top, there should be some good looks at goal, and expect Spurs to keep firing on Wednesday.