Spurs travel to Marine in the FA Cup third round on Sunday hoping to quash any hopes of the non-league side causing an upset.
The Crosby-based side are currently in the eighth tier of football and this tie represents the biggest ever gap in league position of two sides playing each other in FA Cup history.
Therefore, although Jose Mourinho will be keen for his side to progress comfortably against the part-timers, he must consider giving some of his Spurs youngsters some much-needed first-team minutes.
One such player who should feature in Sunday’s game is Jack Clarke.
The winger, who signed from Leeds United in the summer of 2019, endured a nightmare first season with the Lilywhites as both of his loan spells with Leeds and QPR in the Championship resulted in very little playing time.
It had seemed as if the 20-year-old would be sent out on loan again this season but he reportedly did enough to impress Mourinho in pre-season training and was rewarded with his first appearance for the club in Spurs’ 3-0 Europa League win against LASK earlier in the season.
He followed that up with another appearance in the 4-0 win against Ludogorets, so is clearly pushing for a start in Mourinho’s side and Sunday’s game could be the perfect opportunity to hand him his first start.
Some of Spurs’ players may not be too happy with the idea of playing against opposition such as Marine, whereas Clarke, who established himself in the Championship with Leeds when he was just 18, will be used to the physical test that Marine will surely pose.
When he was with QPR, Les Ferdinand praised the winger’s “undoubtable talent“, despite his lack of appearances for the Hoops.
He will also offer some pace on the Spurs wings which could cause the Marine defenders problems, whilst his two goals and one assist in the Premier League 2 this season suggest that he is in more confident goal-scoring form than the likes of Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, both of whom have struggled to contribute to goals in the Premier League this season.
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