Notebook – Preston vs Spurs
Sat 28 January 2023, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Our 2022/23 FA Cup journey continues this evening as we travel to Preston North End in the fourth round of the competition (kick-off 6pm UK).
Here’s all of the game’s key points of note…
1 – A rare meeting
Despite both club’s boasting a considerable wealth of history in English football, this meeting is something of a collector’s item. Having first met in an FA Cup tie at Deepdale exactly 100 years and a day to the date, this evening’s game will be the first encounter between the sides in over 13 years. We have faced each other just four times in the last 41 years.
2 – Preston’s 2022/23 so far
The country’s other Lilywhites come into this tie sitting comfortably in the Championship mid-table, two points off the play-offs and 14 clear of the relegation zone, but they did experience a quite remarkable start to the campaign that certainly got the nation’s football fans talking.
Kicking off their eighth consecutive Championship campaign, Preston went their first seven games without conceding a goal while they scored just two goals in that run. It took until matchday nine for both teams to score in a game in which they were involved in while it wasn’t until matchday 10 that a match involving them saw a single side score more than once. Despite drawing seven of their first 11 matches, they haven’t drawn any of their last 17 matches.
3 – Getting to round four
With both teams having entered the competition at the third round stage, this evening’s game will be each side’s second outing in the cup this season. To get to the fourth round, our opponents triumphed over their Championship rivals Huddersfield, defeating the Terriers 3-1 at Deepdale. We meanwhile edged League One Portsmouth 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Highlights: Spurs 1-0 Portsmouth | 2022/23
4 – A rare fourth round Preston appearance
Based on their recent history, Preston’s presence in this year’s fourth round is quite the rarity. In the last eight seasons, this is just their second appearance in the fourth round, last reaching this stage in 2018 before being knocked out by Sheffield United. Of course, they are a team that has historic pedigree in this competition though as they have twice lifted the cup, first in 1889 and then in 1938. They have also been runners-up five times, most recently in 1964.
5 – Our fourth-round record
We have a strong track record when it comes to FA Cup fourth round ties. In 117 campaigns in the competition to date, we have reached the fourth round 72 times and have gone on to progress from 50 of those ties (69 per cent).
And in six of our last seven seasons, we have gone on to progress from this stage, including last year when we defeated Brighton 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Highlights: Spurs 3-1 Brighton | 2022/23
6 - Conte and the FA Cup
In his time in England, this is a competition Antonio Conte has generally excelled in. Of the seasons he has managed in the FA Cup, he has reached the Wembley final in two of those three campaigns, and lifted the famous trophy back in 2018 while with Chelsea. Having faced 16 FA Cup ties to date, he has lost just two of them.
7 - Our last meeting
We last faced off with Preston almost 13 years ago as we drew the Lilywhites in the League Cup third round. In the season we first qualified for the Champions League, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane were all on target as we hit five at Deepdale with Crouchy bagging his first hat-trick for the Club.
The 6ft 7in forward opened the scoring in Lancashire on 14 minutes before Defoe doubled our lead eight minutes before the break. Crouch doubled his tally with our third on 77 minute, putting us in command, but the hosts did give themselves hope with seven minutes remaining as Chris Brown got them on the scoresheet. Yet, in the final minutes of the game, we made sure of our progress to the fourth round as Keano emphatically found the target on 87 before Crouchy sealed his treble in the final minute.
8 – A possible debutant
New signing Arnaut Danjuma has travelled with the squad to Lancashire and he could make his Spurs debut at Deepdale. Arnaut completed his move to the Club Wednesday, sealing a loan until the end of the season from Spanish side Villarreal. He will be the first Spur to make his debut in the competition for us since Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur came off the bench last season in our fourth round win over Brighton.
It is worth noting that Arnaut has played against Preston at Deepdale once before. Back in March, 2021, the forward started in Lancashire for AFC Bournemouth and scored, firing home the opener in a 1-1 draw.