Spurs will play Leicester for the third time in nine days in an FA Cup replay after the two sides drew 2-2 in the third round tie at White Hart Lane, and the replay may well come as an unwanted distraction.
Despite the old adage that it is better to be in the cup than out of it, Mauricio Pochettino might come to rue Harry Kane’s late equaliser from the penalty spot. The draw means that Spurs must add yet another fixture to a busy start to the year.
One positive to take is that Leicester, as one of their main rivals in the top four, are under the same strain, though they are not facing the prospect of a Europa League tie next month.
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Is it worth it?
The winners of the tie will play Colchester at the Colchester Community Stadium, which admittedly, is a reasonable incentive as both Spurs and Leicester would be favourites to beat the struggling League One outfit.
Nonetheless, there would still be a long, long way to go in the competition even if victory over Colchester was guaranteed.
The question then for Pochettino and indeed his Leicester counterpart Claudio Ranieri, will be whether it is worth placing any significance on the game.
While it will be a good chance to give Spurs’ youngsters a run out, it is not necessarily worth the exhaustion an extra fixture could bring to the first team.
Christian Eriksen has spoken recently of the strain of playing in England and having to perform at the highest level “every three or four days”.
It is not just the Denmark star who will be feeling the pressure, though he featured unexpectedly in the FA Cup game in which Pochettino opted to rest many of his key players.
The games have been coming thick and fast for Spurs, even if they are currently enjoying a much-needed break from Europe. Domestically, however, January could prove make or break in terms of their bid for the top four and even the title, and the added burden of the FA Cup could add unnecessary pressure to what is already a daunting task.
It is often now said that the FA Cup has lost its magic, but it is little surprise when there is so much at stake for England's biggest clubs.
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