Up for the Cup? I should say so. After last Thursday’s performance and result we’re up for anything. The bizarre scheduling and lack of TV coverage will make watching this game tricky, though apparently Burnley aren’t even going to open one of their stands such is the anticipated lack of demand for tickets. All very strange.
Those who do make the trip or find a stream are likely to find two sides much changed from those who did battle in the Premier League just two and a bit short weeks ago. That day Ashley Barnes and Erik Lamela swapped wonder goals but not before the alertness of Chadli and Kane following the latter’s quick free kick had given us the lead and ultimately the points.
A rise in status for Kane was predictable from the start of the season given the lack of competition in our attack, but few would’ve guessed that he’d come this far this quickly. To be such a scourge to the defence of the media’s champions elect that England’s current centre back felt the need to aim a boot at him whilst he was defenceless on the floor is remarkable given that many were writing him off a year or so ago due to a lack of pace and productivity. Sherwood’s faith in him no doubt helped, Pochettino’s use of his power and belief as Adebayor’s replacement at the top of the attacking foursome has coincided with the best performances we’ve seen from Chadli and Eriksen to name but two. His determination and ability have led to a change in the psyche of the whole side it appears.
Vorm, Chiriches, Capoue, Paulinho, Dembele, Kaboul, Soldado, Lennon, Dier, Naughton etc etc, all or any of these will get a game tonight. People will be looking for signs from the selection as to who is in the departure lounge and who might still be Pochettino’s good books but I’m sure that the coach will do his best to ensure that we stay in the competition. Bentaleb is on his way to Equatorial Guinea, Mason and Lamela injured and Kane certainly deserves a rest given the huge weight on his shoulders.
Burnley will rest players too. One player we may be pleased not to see in their line-up is Danny Ings who, according to the ever excellent WindyCOYS, is out of contract at the end of the season and thus a potential value for money target for us. He’d obviously be even more attractive if he’s not cup tied and we make it into the fourth round draw.
Roger East is down to officiate. COYS.
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