FA Cup preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Millwall

MILLWALL boss Neil Harris will wait until Saturday to decide if Jordan Archer is fit to face Tottenham Hotpsur in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final.

Archer has missed the last four games with a groin and hip flexor problem he picked up in the 1-0 fifth-round win over Leicester City.

Harris said Archer is keen to play against his former club.

“What it means to him, it’s driving him on to have a go,” Harris explained. “We do have to be sensible because we have a lot of big games left. I normally leave it to the day before the game. There’s a tick list you have to complete before coming back from injury.”

Tom King made his Lions league debut in Archer’s absence and has kept three clean sheets in his four outings.

“He’s been outstanding,” Harris said. “He’s played cup games this year, he’s played the last four league games and been very impressive.

“He has a great temperament for a young man. Himself and Jordan and the other young lads that we have – Harry Girling has been on the bench – they have a great master in (goalkeeping coach) Kevin Pressman to lead them.

“They all have good temperaments. They have a lot to learn, a hell of a lot to learn about the game. But they have a bright future.”

Otherwise Harris has a fully fit squad to choose from as Millwall attempt to cause one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino fielded weakened sides in earlier rounds but could revert to his first-choice starting XI.

The north London club are out of the Europa League and this tie is likely to be the last in the FA Cup at White Hart Lane, with Spurs expecting to play their home fixtures at Wembley next season while their new stadium is completed for the start of 2018-19.

This is the first season there will be no quarter-final replays. This is also the first time teams will be able to use a fourth substitute, but only in the event an added 30 minutes is needed.

Spurs are without Erik Lamela and Danny Rose. Premier League player of the month for February, Harry Kane, is likely to start up front and has scored 15 goals in his last 13 games.

Kane scored nine goals in 27 games on loan at Millwall in 2011-12. Tony Craig, Jimmy Abdou and Aiden O’Brien are the only players still at Millwall from that season. If Archer starts it will also be former Spurs team-mates facing each other after the goalkeeper and Kane played in a first-round FA Youth Cup defeat at Barnsley in December 2010.

Pochettino was asked on Friday about Millwall’s strengths and insisted his side know they face “a very tough team”.

“We are very focused because the game will be very tough,” Pochettino said. “It’s another London derby and we’ve been watching all their games. They fully deserve to be in the quarter-finals.

“They were better than the Premier League teams. I think we are aware about that situation. We respect them. It’s a very compact team, very clear how they play, their ideas of how they manage the games.

“Their formation is 4-4-2 with two strikers and we’re fully aware how they play. We know we will find a very tough game because the FA Cup is special, it’s the magic and the beauty of the cup that the level isn’t important because all believe they can win.

“It would be massive to be at Wembley in the semi-final, it’s very important for us. But first we know we need to play against a very tough team.”

Millwall record against Tottenham Hotspur:

Played 78

Won 21 Drawn 12 Lost 45

Form guide:

Tottenham: LWDWW

Millwall: WDDWW

Probable teams:

Millwall: 4-4-2: Archer; Cummings, Webster, Cooper, Craig; Onyedinma, Thompson, Williams, O’Brien; Gregory, Morison.

Spurs: 3-4-2-1: Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele, Davies; Eriksen, Alli; Kane.

Match odds:

Tottenham Hotspur 1/6 Draw 6/1 Millwall 16/1

Path to the quarter-finals

First round:

Millwall 1-0 Southend

Second round:

Millwall 5-2 Braintree

Third round:

Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa

Millwall 3-0 AFC Bournemouth

Fourth round:

Tottenham 4-3 Wycombe

Millwall 1-0 Watford

Fifth round:

Fulham 0-3 Tottenham

Millwall 1-0 Leicester

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly

(@jkelly1882)

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