Swansea v Spurs – Match preview

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Up for the cup? I think we all are, and hopefully that includes the players as this is undoubtedly the toughest fixture we’ve had in the competition thus far.

We’ve hardly covered ourselves in glory to reach this stage, overcoming AFC Wimbledon was a struggle and then we made hard work of battling past both Newport, Rochdale and the VAR.

Still, we’re here and that’s all that matters in cup football as spawny old Juventus will testify. (How irritating that two teams we know we’re better than have been drawn against each other in the Moneybags League quarter finals).

Swansea’s absolutely remarkable rise since the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal has been well chronicled. A run of two defeats in ten league games (and two in sixteen in all comps) has seen them move from relegation certainties to mid table safety in record time. One of those losses was at the Liberty to us in Carvalhal’s second game, since then though they’ve won every home game they’ve played, that’s seven in a row, including wins against Wolves, Liverpool and Woolwich and an 8-1 thrashing of Notts County in the last round. Blimey.

That defeat to us included Fernando Llorente’s one and only (so far) Spurs league goal and given the absence of Harry for the next month or so (being optimistic) one would expect this to be the time when he would be asked to dust himself down, take some WD-40 to those rusty joints and perform the task we bought him for. Unlikely. The form of Heung-Min Son means that it is the South Korean who will be asked to lead the line with support from Dele, Eriksen and probably Lamela though Lucas Moura will be hopeful of an outing.

Llorente is a blameless victim really. Almost every time he’s allowed to play he performs like a man who’s not been in action for weeks, which generally, he hasn’t.

If we point to the loss of Harry then the Swans will counter with the Ayew brothers, neither of whom be available to play, Jordan was sent off last week and André is cup-tied (can there be a man in Britain more satisfied with his decision-making after André jumped from the sinking SS Dildo Brothers in January to the safety of land in South Wales?).

Jordan’s very early bath at Huddersfield led to an extraordinary siege being lain to Swansea’s defence, seventy-nine minutes of Terrier pressure though led to nothing as the Welsh side left with a clean sheet and a point. If nothing else this will give them confidence if, as is probably expected, we end up with the lion’s share of possession, though we’ll do well to match Huddersfield’s 81 per cent last Saturday. Given Swansea’s 4-1 defeat to Brighton a few weeks that the game ended in a draw may say more about the Yorkshire side than Swansea.

Pochettino has a few decisions to make. How fit is Dier? Is it time to bring in Hugo? Which full backs? Has Davies recovered from his illness? The international break helps, ie no resting of players needed. My guess would be Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembélé, Moura, Eriksen, Dele, Son. Guess is the operative word there.

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m still not truly over last Wednesday. A win tomorrow would help immensely and despite the good form Swansea are in, we should make it through to the semi-finals. We’ll be hot favourites I’m sure but I suspect it will be close.

I believe there are no replays in this round, it’s extra time and penalties.

Kevin Friend is the referee and will be a familiar face. He took charge of our games at Selhurst Park and also as an emergency replacement against Huddersfield.

“Spurs are on their way to Wembley…”

COYFS

 

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