Football

Owen tips Spurs to win 'home' semi-final in FA Cup

Tottenham Hotspur will reach the FA Cup final by beating Manchester United on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

That is the prediction of former Liverpool and United striker Michael Owen, who believes that Spurs will end their semi-final jinx in the knockout tournament.

The reason? They have the advantage of playing on their Wembley homeground.

The London side will also be fresh after key players such as Dele Alli were rested in their 1-1 draw with Brighton on Tuesday.

"Spurs were not at their best against champions Manchester City on Saturday or against the Seagulls," wrote Owen in his predictions for BetVictor.

"But Mauricio Pochettino rested a number of key players at the Amex and I expect to see a rejuvenated Spurs come out firing in their 'home' semi."

Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen said that they feel "very comfortable"at Wembley after 25 games - aside from their 3-1 loss to Manchester City on Saturday - reported The Guardian.

He said: "We're used to it now, just the atmosphere will be a bit different because United will bring more supporters than usual. But we feel very comfortable at Wembley."

However, Pochettino believes that there is no "home advantage" for them.

"Of course, we feel at home," he said at a news conference yesterday. "But it's different to when we play in the Premier League.

"I don't believe (we will have an advantage) because Manchester United have the experience (of playing) at Wembley, too. It's not an event just for us.

"I think it will be a typical cup game at Wembley - half Tottenham and half Manchester United. I don't believe we are going to have some advantage for that."

It will be United's 29th appearance in an FA Cup semi-final, with their most recent win in the competition coming in 2016.

Spurs, who last lifted the trophy in 1991, have suffered defeats in each of their last seven semi-finals in the competition.

Pochettino confirmed he had yet to make a decision on who would start in goal against United, reported Reuters.

Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm has started in every round of the competition this season and could be expected to feature again.

Football