Tottenham Hotspur will hope to make it to the final four of the FA Cup by beating Swansea City on Saturday.
Tottenham Hotspur will embark on a trip to Wales this weekend, as they gear up to take on Swansea City in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup at the Liberty Stadium.
Tottenham made it to the last eight of the competition, after beating lower league opponents Rochdale FC 6-1 in the replay after they had been held to a 2-2 stalemate by the minnows the first time around. Spurs are without a title of any kind since they won the League Cup in 2008 and manager Mauricio Pochettino will see the FA Cup as his chance to end that drought.
Swansea City have made it to this stage of the tournament the long way, having had to go through replays at each of the past three stages. In the fifth round, the Swans defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 to qualify for the quarterfinals for the first time in over 50 years.
Team News & Tactics
Manager Carlos Carvalhal will go into the game without the services of club top-scorer Jordan Ayew as the Ghanaian is suspended for three games following his sending off against Huddersfield Town last weekend. His sibling, Andre Ayew too misses out as he is cup-tied, having already played for West Ham United in the competition.
As is the case with on-loan midfielder Andy King who had previously represented Leicester City in this season’s FA Cup.
Angel Rangel, Leroy Fer, Renato Sanches, Leon Britton and Wilfried Bony are all ruled out of the historic encounter on Saturday. With survival in the Premier League being the club’s main objective, we could see the Welsh outfit make changes from the side that took the field against Huddersfield last weekend.
Kristoffer Nordfeldt is set to replace Lukasz Fabianski in goal as he has done throughout the cup competition. Youngster Connor Roberts is once again expected to get the nod at right-back. Former Tottenham man Kyle Naughton is expected to partner up with Mike van der Hoorn and Kyle Bartley in the heart of the defence, with Martin Olsson starting out as the left-back, to complete the back five for Swansea.
Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge are likely to slot in on the right and the left flanks respectively and will be tasked with providing width going forward to try and stretch the Tottenham backline. In the centre of the park, Sung-Yeung Ki is expected to partner up with another former Spurs man Tom Carroll.
On-loan Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham is expected to spearhead the attack in the absence of Jordan Ayew for Saturday’s game.
Probable Starting XI (5-4-1): Nordfeldt; Roberts, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Bartley, Olsson; Dyer, Ki, Carroll, Routledge; Abraham;
Just like Swansea, Tottenham too will be without their leading goalscorer of the season as Harry Kane is out for a considerable amount of time after picking up an ankle injury last weekend. Toby Alderweireld also remains sidelined for the North Londoners while Dele Alli and Danny Rose are also doubtful and will undergo late fitness tests before the game.
Academy graduate Harry Winks is also likely to miss out due to a persistent ankle problem that has hampered his game time throughout the course of the season.
Michel Vorm is set to start between the sticks in place of first-choice goalie and club captain Hugo Lloris. Kieran Trippier is expected to get the nod ahead of Serge Aurier at right-back, while Ben Davies, who missed the last game due to fatigue, will return at left-back.
Occupying the centre-half positions for Pochettino’s side will be youngster Juan Foyth, who has been a regular for the cup fixtures, alongside the experienced head of Jan Vertonghen.
Victor Wanyama is likely to retain his spot in the middle of the park, while the other pivot position is likely to be taken up by Eric Dier, with Mousa Dembele likely to be given some rest.
January signing Lucas Moura should start on the right wing for the North London outfit, following his impressive display in the previous round. He will provide them with dynamism and directness from outwide. Christian Eriksen is likely to move into a central role on Saturday with Alli’s involvement under doubt, while Son Heung-Min should start on the left-flank in all likelihood.
Upfront, in the absence of star man Harry Kane, it will be former Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente. The Spaniard will need to be ruthless against the Welsh outfit, if Spurs are to go through to the last four.
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Vorm; Trippier, Foyth, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Wanyama; Lucas, Eriksen, Son; Llorente;
- This is the first ever FA Cup meeting between these sides – they have met 45 times previously (40 league games, five League Cup matches).
- Spurs are unbeaten in their last 15 games against the Swans in all competitions (W12 D3), drawing at Wembley and winning 2-0 at Liberty Stadium in the Premier League this season.
- Tammy Abraham has been involved in five goals in his last two FA Cup appearances at Liberty Stadium (2 goals, 3 assists).
- Tottenham have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of their last 10 matches in the FA Cup.
- This is Swansea’s first appearance in the FA Cup quarter-finals since 1964 (when they were known as Swansea Town) – they reached the semi-final that year, eliminating Liverpool in the quarter-final.
Player to watch
Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur)
Having signed for the Lilywhites in the January transfer window from Paris Saint-Germain amid much anticipation, the Brazilian speedster is yet to make a serious impact for his new club. Lucas has started two FA Cup games for Spurs since his arrival and had scored in the victory over Rochdale in the previous round. He will be hoping to better his returns on Saturday and boost his chances of carving out a regular spot in the starting XI.
Swansea City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Swansea will have bigger fish to fry on their mind, with survival in the Premier League being their primary objective for the season, due to which the manager is likely to make some key changes in the line-up. And this will end up playing into the hands of Tottenham, who themselves will be without a few key players. But, they should have enough firepower to see this one through and we at the Hard Tackle predict a 2-0 win for the visitors.