Tottenham have a 1-0 lead to protect when they pay a visit to Sheffield United in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final. The job is by no means taken care of as far as Spurs are concerned, an Andros Townsend penalty is all that separates the two sides after the first ninety minutes.
A cup final at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea is the prize for the winner of this tie, who beat Liverpool over two legs. This would be Spurs’ first trip to Wembley under Mauricio Pochettino, and the club’s first since seven years ago when they triumphed in this competrition against Chelsea to win the Carling Cup in 2007.
Nacer Chadli has returned from compassionate leave following the passing of his father, however, it is unlikely that he will appear here. Nabil Bentaleb is still away on international duty with Algeria.
Predicted Line-Up (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm:
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino remains adamant that goalkeeper Michel Vorm will bounce back from his horror mistake that he made in the final minutes against Leicester in the FA Cup. To be fair to him, we could have lost that game 1-3, or perhaps 1-4 if he hadn’t made some key saves in the opening stages of the match.
Defence: Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose:
Ben Davies didn’t have the best of games last week in the first leg at White Hart Lane, and Danny Rose should start in the second leg. Eric Dier looked strong and solid in the first game, and looks a very good player in his first season at the club. Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen, along with Danny Rose, are first team regulars, and Mauricio Pochettino could name these three in his back four.
Midfield (Holding): Benjamin Stambouli, Mousa Dembele:
Pochettino will be keen to get that away goal and pull away from Sheffield United early on in the piece. This means that the Argentine will be tempted to field a very string team in order to do this, despite facing a trip to West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday. Both have looked good this season, and look like they are the ones to beat to a starting place in this tie, although Ryan Mason will be knocking on the door. However, it is possible that he is being rested for the Premier League clash at the weekend.
Midfield (Attacking): Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Andros Townsend:
Away from the penalties, Townsend’s performances have been very good inn recent weeks, and could line-up in the left wing position due to the absence of Nacer Chadli. Christian Eriksen has also been pivotal to picking up points this season. Lamela also had a good game against Leicester on Saturday.
Striker: Harry Kane:
Personally, I think that Kane operates better on his own up front, I feel it gives him more freedom. Anyway, like Eriksen, he has been key to picking up points this season, and going along with the theme that Mauricio Pochettino will field a strong team, he should start.