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Thursday, March 4
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Jan 10, 2021 at 5pm UK
Marine AFCMarine AFC
0-5
SpursTottenham Hotspur

Joyce (78')
FT(HT: 0-4)
Vinicius (24', 30', 37'), Moura (32'), Devine (60')
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Preview: Marine AFC vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Marine AFC vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's FA Cup clash between Marine AFC and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

David meets Goliath in the pick of this weekend's FA Cup third-round matches as eighth-tier Marine AFC welcome Premier League big boys Tottenham Hotspur to Merseyside on Sunday evening.

The non-league hosts overcame Havant & Waterlooville to set up a highly-anticipated showdown with Spurs, who go into this game having just booked their spot in the EFL Cup final.


Match preview

No matter the outcome of Sunday's battle at the Marine Travel Arena, the hosts can be incredibly proud of what they have achieved during a spectacular FA Cup campaign.

Neil Young's men scraped past Colchester United on penalties before beating Havant in & Waterlooville in extra time to secure their spot in the third round, with Niall Cummins - a school teacher by trade - scoring the decisive goal right at the death back in November.

There was certainly an element of luck about the 27-year-old's winner as the ball deflected in off his back, but the Northern Premier League side simply will not care about how the goal came about as they prepare for one of the biggest games in their 127-year history.

The Mariners head into their daunting bout with Spurs in a fantastic spell of form having won 13 of their last 14 games in all competitions, with the outlier in that sequence being a 1-0 defeat to Southport in the FA Trophy, and Young's men have not shared the spoils in a game since January 2020.

Marine have only ever reached the third round of the FA Cup once before in the 1992-93 campaign, where they were beaten 3-1 by Crewe Alexandra, and while the visit of Spurs is a momentous occasion for the club, it is a real shame that no fans will be present at the stadium to witness Jose Mourinho's men in action.

Meanwhile, Spurs appear to be finding their feet again at the worst time possible for Marine, whom Mourinho has promised will be facing a strong Lilywhites contingent this weekend.

The EFL Cup finalists strolled past Brentford in Tuesday's semi-final to book their spot at Wembley in April, with Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min netting in North London as Spurs edge ever closer to ending their 12-year trophy drought.

Mourinho's men have begun to falter in the league recently, but the eight-time FA Cup winners can give themselves an injection of confidence when they travel to Crosby on Sunday, that is if they are not on the wrong end of another one of the competition's giant killings.

Spurs have not failed to advance past the third round since losing 2-0 to arch-rivals Arsenal in the 2013-14 campaign, although their 2019-20 run ended bitterly with a penalty shootout defeat to Norwich City, where Eric Dier's post-match confrontation with a fan stole all the headlines.

While Sunday's game represents Marine's maiden match against a top-flight team, Spurs will be taking on a non-league side for the first time since the 1994-95 season, where they eased past Altrincham 3-0 at this stage of the tournament.

Marine AFC FA Cup form: WWWWWW
Marine AFC form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): LLWDWW


Team News

Marine's mix of professional and semi-professional players should line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Cummins supported in the attack by Momodou Touray and Neil Kengni.

The rearguard will be manned by the veteran David Raven - formerly of Liverpool - and Saint Lucia international Josh Solomon-Davies, who was selected in the FA's Team of the Second Round.

Meanwhile, Mourinho is sure to rest some key players but will put out a strong team nonetheless, although doubts remain over Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's involvement after the Dane was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Brentford's Josh Dasilva.

Giovani Lo Celso will not make the trip to Merseyside either, but Matt Doherty is back from suspension and could slot straight into the team in place of Serge Aurier, while Gareth Bale is supposedly keen to play if he can overcome a calf problem in time.

Marine manager Young has admitted that he wants Harry Kane to be rested for this tie, but the England captain could very well start alongside compatriot Dele Alli, whose future at the club remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Joe Hart, Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon will all be among those expected to feature from the off, while midfield protege Harvey White will be hopeful of earning some valuable minutes too.

Marine AFC possible starting lineup:
Passant; Davies, Miley, Raven, Joyce; Doyle, Hmami, Barrigan; Kengni, Cummins, Touray

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Hart; Doherty, Rodon, Tanganga, Davies; Winks, White; Lucas Moura, Alli, Bergwijn; Kane


We say: Marine AFC 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur

Not only does the once-in-a-lifetime visit of Spurs hand Marine an incredible opportunity to test themselves against some of the Premier League's best, it will also provide the club with an unprecedented amount of financial support at a time where non-league teams truly need it. While almost every neutral fan will be hoping to see the upset of all upsets occur at the Marine Travel Arena, Spurs are set to name a team packed with international stars and the hosts' magical FA Cup journey is expected to end here.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw:data



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
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8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
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10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
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18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2513483833543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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