FA CUP SEMIFINAL
Pochettino plays down Wembley home advantage for Spurs
London — Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino denies his team have home advantage in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.
Spurs are using the national stadium while their new 61,500-seater stadium is being built. They have turned Wembley into a fortress, suffering just two Premier League defeats all season, and beating Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Arsenal and United.
Defender Jan Vertonghen suggested Spurs could benefit from their familiarity with the stadium, but Pochettino said Jose Mourinho’s side have plenty of experience at the venue.
"Of course, we feel at home," he said on Thursday. "But it’s different to when we play in the Premier League. I don’t believe [we will have an advantage] because 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 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 semifinal, which they last won in 2016. Tottenham, who last lifted the trophy in 1991, have lost each of their last seven semifinals.
Pochettino said he had yet to decide on who would start in goal against United. Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm has started in every round of the competition this season and could feature again.