Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur
One significant fact about the Manure result was that it was the first team that was above us in the Premiership that we have beaten this season. Scum, Citeh, Toons, Bin Dippers have all had their 3 points whilst Chavski, Toffees and Manure have had their point.
What was even more significant was that Sherwood buried the criticism that he does not have enough experience to outwit a more experienced Premier Club Manager.
In truth this FA Cup game has probably come around too fast for both teams who both have some injuries in key areas.
Olivier Giroud is a doubt after suffering from illness and an ankle injury. Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) is injured along with Kieran Gibbs (calf) and Aaron Ramsey (thigh) while playmaker Mesut Ozil must pass a late fitness test.
Meanwhile Andros Townsend, Lewis Holtby and Jermain Defoe could return from injury for Tottenham. But we still are without Verts, Paulinho, Sandro, Kaboul, Siggurdson and Lamela.
Adebayor is fit again after being taken off on a stretcher!!! It was a shame he went off for what looked like a rest as he would have been my man of the match but he was sat in a bath of ice and is now apparently good to go. Tim Sherwood is quoted as saying 'How important will Adebayor be tomorrow [Saturday]? It's huge. 'I think if Arsene Wenger saw him limping off at Old Trafford, I'm sure there were a lot of pleased Arsenal fans and management and players. 'But, unfortunately, he's going to be walking out against them on Saturday. 'It didn't look great did it when he came off on that stretcher but he is a warrior. There is no holding him back at the moment.'
The question is going to be how badly do both teams want this result? We played a great system on New Years` Day and each Player did his bit albeit Rose looked a yard off the pace. But the character we showed at Manure has to be what carries us into this Cup Tie. We have a full week break after this match when we take on Palace at the Lane so it maybe that Sherwood will go for the same team selection that he used for Manure but Sherwood has a habit of using a team that fits the challenge.
Eriksen seems to be playing well on the left much better than Siggs, the Soldado/Adebayor double act looks like it is now bedding in and although Soldado is still not finishing some pure gold chances as long as they are coming in and he is there to take them then he must be on the score sheet from open play soon.
Lennon is actually starting to show some belief that he can score goals and that means we have in reality 4 players looking to score goals. Eriksen showed some bravery with his headed goal at Manure and it`s that kind of commitment that won us that match. When we lost to the Scum at the beginning of the season they hunted us down in packs and they gave us no time on the ball this time they will have to take the game to us. Scum could have a striker problem if Ozil is passed unfit. They have only scored 16 Goals in 9 home games despite being top of the League.
In their last game against Cardiff Scum struggled to break down an organised Cardiff, they defended deep and broke out when they had the chance.
We know that Wilshire will be his normal dynamo so we need to make sure that we don`t give any of their midfield any time on the ball and we need to make sure that Walcott does not get any space which means doubling up on him. Szczesny is always an accident waiting to happen and Sagna is probably their weakest defender but there is no doubt that if we give Scum time on the ball they will move us around the pitch so we need to keep our shape and make them play through two banks of four to push them out wide and stop them playing through the middle.
This will be the biggest test for Sherwood to date and given the man`s attitude he will not want Spurs out of another cup competition so soon after the defeat at the hands of the spammers.
It feels like it`s going to be a great game and I only hope Adbayor is fit enough to go the distance. He is one of our form players but who Sherwood plays depends on who is fit and how he reads this game is anyone`s guess.
I think the pressure is on Scum which is probably why they have restricted our away ticket allocation. Scum are refusing to give the 15 per cent allocation normally entitled to us under FA Cup ticketing policy. Spurs hierarchy are livid with the Scum`s decision to grant us just 5,186 tickets - which equates to just 8.64 per cent of the stadium capacity at the Emirates.
Doesn`t matter we`ll still make more noise than their pathetic supporters even if they do turn on their PA system to play their crowd noise backing track!
Written by OyVeh Maria