Itâ€™s Everton & the Carling Cup 4th round at White Hart Lane on Tuesday evening.Â This is the first time weâ€™ve ever played Everton in the League Cup. After a poor start to the season our visitors turned things around a tad with a run of seven games unbeaten, one of which was the 4-0 win at Hull that got them through to this stage of the comp. Their last two results havenâ€™t been quite so good though, the 5-0 tonking at Benfica last Thursday was followed by a narrow defeat at the Reebok at the weekend. In the latter game they were apparently the better team in the second half, coming back from two down and looking likely winners until a ball bounced kindly off the back of Kevin Davies head and Klasnic banged it in.
With everyone fit Everton are a side that stand a chance against anyone but at present theyâ€™re having one of their perennial small squad injury crises and results are suffering as a consequence. Such is their state that they actually asked the authorities to reschedule this game, but were denied. Teenagers are getting regular appearances, Rodwell, Goswell and Coleman all played on Sunday and danger man Tim Cahill is playing out of position. Lucas Neill made his Toffees debut at the weekend. So given their troubles itâ€™s anyone guess what team theyâ€™ll put out. I suppose the logical conclusion to reach is that given the injury problems then the best they can do is put out a second string so thatâ€™s what weâ€™ll see.
Weâ€™ve got problems of our own after Saturday with none of Woodgate, King or Lennon likely to be risked. Defoe is still out with his naughty boy ban and Modricâ€™s slow comeback is testing Harryâ€™s patience by the sounds of it. Gio is still injured and Kranjcar is cup-tied.Â Weâ€™ve played proper â€˜Bâ€™ teams in our two games against Donny and Preston but Redknapp will I suspect pick a team he thinks is good enough to win and will take few risks. There should be a rare starting opportunity for David Bentley and Pav almost certainly with Bale and maybe Hutton likely to be there from the off too. Jenas and Palacios are on 4 and 3 bookings respectively but at least one will start if weâ€™re serious about winning.
So itâ€™ll be a battle between two wounded fighters, both of whom will be feeling hard done by after the weekend and both of whom will have an eye on upcoming bouts in other competitions. Still though, thereâ€™s a possible quarter final against one of Portsmouth, Blackburn, Peterborough, Sunderland (or less likely, Scunthorpe or Barnsley) up for grabs and from there, Wembleyâ€™s only 3 hours away.
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