It’s the clash of the heavyweights in the Carabao Cup fourth round as Tottenham Hotspur play hosts to London rivals Chelsea this midweek.

Tottenham will be playing their second game in just over two days as they gear up to take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The fixture schedule has been anything but kind on Jose Mourinho and his troops. Just two days after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United in the Premier League, they will be taking on Chelsea in an important cup tie, before facing off against Maccabi Haifa in another crunch game in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.

This will be followed by a difficult trip to Manchester United on Sunday evening, meaning this week could be somewhat of a make or break with regards to their cup ambitions. Mourinho’s squad will be stretched no doubt, but it will also provide him with the perfect excuse if Spurs end up faltering in any of the competitions.

Chelsea may have invested over £200 million in the transfer window, but Frank Lampard’s side continue to leak like a sieve at the back. However, the manager will have been pleased to see the manner in which his players fought back to salvage a point against West Bromwich Albion this past weekend, after being three goals down in the first half.

Tottenham were given a bye into the fourth round after their game against Leyton Orient was cancelled due to a coronavirus outbreak within their opponents. Chelsea, on the other hand, thrashed Barnsley 6-0 in their previous fixture in the cup competition. And ahead of this heavyweight clash on Tuesday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Son Heung-min's absence will be a major blow for Tottenham (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Son Heung-min’s absence will be a major blow for Tottenham (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Tottenham have been handed a major injury blow heading into the game as in-form attacker Son Heung-min is ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury against Newcastle United. Japhet Tanganga continues to be sidelined, while Gareth Bale, who made a stunning return to the club, is also unavailable. Moussa Sissoko is also a doubt due to illness.

Mourinho has already claimed that he might have to sacrifice the cup competition in order to keep his team’s hopes of advancing in Europe alive. So, we can expect a large number of changes on Tuesday night, starting in goal, where new signing Joe Hart should start, after making his debut last week in the Europa League game against Shkendija.

Ben Davies has featured in each game for Tottenham, but could be given a breather here, with new signing Sergio Reguilon getting the nod at left-back, while Serge Aurier ought to feature on the right. Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier should pair up at the heart of the defence.

Giovani Lo Celso will make way for Tanguy Ndombele, who did not start at the weekend, while Sissoko, should he recover in time, should partner him in the middle. If the Frenchman doesn’t, academy man Harvey White is an option for Jose, with Harry Winks and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg likely to be held back. Dele Alli, who faces an uncertain future at the club, could start as the No. 10.

Attack is where it gets tricky for Jose Mourinho. Following Son’s injury, he will rest Harry Kane in order to not risk the same fate befalling his only striker. So, Steven Bergwijn could get the nod as the lone forward. Support from the wide could from Erik Lamela on the right and Ryan Sessegnon, who is yet to feature this season, on the left.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Hart; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Ndombele; Lamela, Alli, Sessegnon; Bergwijn

Chelsea

Christian Pulisic still sidelined (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic is still sidelined (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

New boy Hakim Ziyech and key winger Christian Pulisic are still a week or two away from returning, while Billy Gilmour remains sidelined for the visitors. Rotation will be the name of the game for Lampard as well, although given the squad at his disposal, he should be able to field a very strong side in spite of any chopping and changing.

After Willy Caballero started in the league game this past weekend, it would be fair to assume that Kepa Arrizabalaga could have played his last for Chelsea as, on Tuesday night, new signing Edouard Mendy is in line to start between the sticks.

Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori ought to be the two centre-halves for Chelsea, flanked by captain Cesar Azpilicueta on the right and Ben Chilwell, who will be making his full debut for the Blues, on the left.

Jorginho should replace N’Golo Kante in midfield. The Italian international ought to have Mateo Kovacic for company, given that the Croat played only 45 minutes against West Brom. Ross Barkley should come into the side, slotting in as the No. 10 in place of Kai Havertz, even though he scored a hat-trick in the previous round.

Up front, Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham are likely to be given a breather, with Olivier Giroud starting as the lone striker. Callum Hudson-Odoi should start on the right, after the impact he made off the bench at the weekend, while Mason Mount should feature on the left flank.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Barkley; Mount; Giroud

Key Stats

  • Tottenham and Chelsea have faced each other in the League Cup on ten previous occasions. The Blues have come out on top in five games, while the Lilywhites have triumphed thrice – including the finals in 2008, which was their last trophy won (D2).
  • Chelsea have won each of their last four meetings against Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions. During this run, the West Londoners have scored eight goals, while conceding just two.
  • Chelsea are looking to progress to the League Cup quarter-final for the third time in the past four seasons.
  • Tottenham have been knocked out of the League Cup by London clubs in five of the past seven seasons.
  • Frank Lampard has squared off against former mentor Jose Mourinho thrice in his managerial career and has won each of the three fixtures – two with Chelsea against Spurs and one with Derby County against Manchester United, which came in the League Cup in 2018/19.

Player to Watch

Edouard Mendy

From being without a club early into his professional career to playing for a mammoth club like Chelsea, it has been quite the journey for Edouard Mendy. So, it will be a momentous occasion for the 28-year-old Senegalese international as he gears up for his debut for the Blues.

Goalkeeping has been an Achilles heel for Chelsea ever since Kepa Arrizabalaga was brought in a couple of years ago. With the Spaniard setting his sights on a potential return to Spain before the transfer window closes, and Willy Caballero touching forty, a solid performance on debut could very well end up ensuring the No. 1 spot for the Blues’ latest acquisition.

Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Chelsea

Given that Jose Mourinho may prioritise the Europa League fixture two days later, expect a host of changes from Tottenham, including a huge one which could see Harry Kane being benched. Even though it will be a fairly strong team, Kane’s benching, coupled with Son Heung-min’s absence, means Spurs won’t carry the same threat going forward.

Chelsea, on the other hand, can field a very strong lineup, even if Frank Lampard changes his team from top to bottom. Plus, the Blues have had an extra day’s rest and don’t have to play again till the weekend, meaning they can afford to go all out on Tuesday night.

All things considered, The Hard Tackle predicts that Mourinho’s poor record against Lampard is likely to extend, with Chelsea making it five wins in a row against their London rivals.

Leave A Comment...

*