Sunday’s narrow 1-0 win over Hull City at The Lane now sits us comfortably in fourth position in the league but our attentions now focus on our Carling Cup clash on Wednesday night. Oh, and yes, it’s against Hull City at The Lane again by the way. The Spurs faithful will certainly be hoping that we can record a more convincing victory as we were very lucky to take the three points on Sunday and we need to raise our game. Hull created problems with their counter attacks and we were far from our best in the final third, but our sheer persistence got us through in the end courtesy of another Roberto Soldado penalty, albeit very harshly on our opponents. Wholesale changes are expected for the game tomorrow night, but who will retain their place and who will make way, that’s the question I’m asking myself.
In goal, It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Hugo Lloris take his place between the posts but it’s a possibility Brad Friedel could get the nod instead. Even though AVB hasn’t been as keen on tinkering with the keepers so far this season (compared to last), it wouldn’t be unfair to drop Lloris for this match. He’s been in outstanding form for us this season and is starting to get the plaudits he deserves and I personally wouldn’t want any other keeper in the league behind our defence.
The defence could be in for some changes. With a difficult trip to Everton in the league at the weekend, AVB might see this game as a chance to rest some of our in form men at the back. Kyle Naughton could come in at right back instead of Kyle Walker whilst it’s anyone’s guess on the fitness of Danny Rose at this moment in time. That being said, Zeki Fryers could line up on the left side with any two from Dawson/Vertonghen/Chiriches in the centre. The latter by the way has really impressed me in recent weeks and he looks to be an astute purchase at under £9m. I’m pretty sure he can become an unsung hero for us if he continues his early form as his intelligent defensive game impressively compliments his composure in possession; a carbon copy of Vertonghen in that sense.
Everyone knows about our strength in depth throughout the whole squad, but it is the midfield area where we are most naturally blessed. Aaron Lennon’s return to full fitness is a welcome one whilst Sandro has been putting in some impressive performances after being summoned to the starting line up in recent weeks. AVB courageously selected Lewis Holtby at the weekend but the frustrating German didn’t take his chance to impress with another average showing. Expect Christian Eriksen back in the number 10 role for this one. The Dane has been on the bench in recent games but his return is needed in my view; although he doesn’t share the same work rate as Holtby, he has more of a footballing brain and his creativity is superior. I’m a big fan of his.
Elsewhere, Townsend will probably be rested which would see Erik Lamela occupy the wide right berth with Lennon on the other side. Lamela desperately needs game time in order to speed up his adaptation to English football and I am getting slightly concerned about AVB’s reluctance to throw him into action. The introduction of Andros Townsend has of course hindered his level of participation but all he can do is get his head down and work for his chance to shine. I am hopeful of his selection tomorrow night but I wouldn’t bet on it.
In the centre of the park, I reckon Dembele will be drafted in alongside Sandro with Paulinho getting a well deserved break. In other news, Etienne Capoue returned to training this week so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was named on the bench. He was impressive in the opening couple of games and he strengthens us in this area so good news all round. Up top, Jermain Defoe will get the nod ahead of Soldado for this one. AVB knows Soldado is his first choice striker, but he owes Defoe opportunities after scoring goals for fun in Europe and it will be logical to allow him to stake a claim you would think.
As I mentioned earlier, hopefully a more convincing win than Sunday but you just don’t know in these cup games. However, I’m going to stick to the positivity that seems to be flowing through us at the moment and I predict a 3-1 victory for us. Let’s hope I’m right. COYS!!
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