Former rival makes surprise Tottenham claim – predicts end to trophy drought

Martin Keown says that Tottenham Hotspur are now the favourites to win the FA Cup after Manchester City were dumped out of the competition by Wigan Athletic earlier this week.

The Citizens suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the DW Stadium on Monday night, a result which ended their hopes of claiming an unprecedented quadruple.

It has opened the door for other teams and, with Keown’s old club Arsenal also out of the running, the pundit has predicted that Spurs will claim the famous trophy.

“Tottenham are favourites now,” the former centre-back told the Daily Mail.

“Mauricio Pochettino was wise to pack his bench with quality in case he needed someone to save the day against Rochdale.

“After their replay – which you would expect them to win – it would be Swansea or Sheffield Wednesday in the quarter-finals, and their next two games would then be effectively at home!”

The Lilywhites have not yet guaranteed their place in the last eight after managing only a 2-2 draw away at League One Rochdale.

However, Keown’s comments reflect the fact that this is now a major opportunity for the North London outfit to end their trophy drought, which stretches back to a League Cup win in 2008.

That is especially true given that Tottenham currently play their home games at Wembley due to the ongoing construction of a new stadium, meaning that the players are already familiar with the ground that hosts both the semi-finals and final.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs have garnered many plaudits over the past few seasons but there is a sense that to be truly accepted at the top table the team need to get their hands on some silverware.

With City having all but sealed the Premier League and a number of strong opponents still remaining in the Champions League, the FA Cup provides the most realistic avenue to success.

Bearing that in mind, it would not be a surprise to see a strong line-up named for the replay against Rochdale next week.