Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to advance to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup when they travel to the Molineux to face Wolves on Wednesday night.
Tottenham will aim to put their recent miseries behind them and get their campaign back on track when they pay a visit to fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the EFL Cup.
The Nuno Espirito Santo transition at Spurs has taken some knocks in recent weeks, with the Lilywhites’ arriving at Molineux in dismal form with a draw and two defeats in all competitions, which has derailed their initial momentum.
Tottenham were always going to struggle against a superior Chelsea side, who gave their London rivals a sound 3-0 beating on home soil, Spurs thrashing came after an unconvincing set of results, first a dismal 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League before a poor 2-2 draw with Rennes in Europa Conference League.
Wolves, meanwhile, are coming on the back of a poor performance against Brentford last weekend, falling to a 2-0 defeat while failing to register a single shot on target throughout the game. The Black Country outfit has four losses and a single win out of five league games. Although Bruno Lage’s side plays some entertaining and enjoyable football, the results need to pick up at some point.
Wolves, though, began their Carabao Cup campaign in some fashion, hitting four unanswered goals against Nottingham Forest in the second round to seal the progression to the next round. And ahead of their meeting with Tottenham on Wednesday, The Hard Tackle now takes a closer look at both the squads.
Team News & Tactics
Wolves will remain without the long-term injured pair in Jonny Otto and Pedro Neto, while teenager Hugo Bueno will miss due to a hamstring issue. Wolves boss Bruno Lage is unlikely to tinker with his preferred 3-4-3 system. And despite the quality of the opponent, Lage is likely to rotate heavily for the midweek Carabao Cup tie.
Backup goalkeeper John Ruddy will be handed a start between the sticks. Both Yerson Mosquera and Willy Boly are pushing hard for minutes and will be handed with starts alongside captain Conor Coady who will take his place in the heart of the back-three.
Ruben Neves and Leander Dendoncker will feature in midfield double pivot to provide the game with energy, grit, and tempo. They will be flanked by youngsters Ki-Jana Hoever and Rayan Ait-Nouri, restoring themselves in the wing-back slots after featuring in the last round of the competition.
The frontline will see major changes; Francisco Trincao and Jimenez are likely to be rested by the Portuguese boss, which means rare starting opportunities to be handed out to Hwang Hee-chan and Fabio Silva. Adama Traore will take the remaining slot on the right-wing to make it a front-three.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Ruddy; Mosquera, Coady, Boly; Hoever, Dendoncker, Neves, Ait-Nouri; Traore, Hee-Chan Hwang, Silva
Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo doesn’t have any major injury concerns as such, but they have several players carrying minor knocks; this includes Ryan Sessegnon, Lucas Moura (Ankle) and Steven Bergwijn (Ankle), all of whom are unlikely to be available in time for the midweek match against Wolves.
Spurs’ South American duo of Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso started the game against Chelsea following their quarantine in Croatia. They might be rested and are unlikely to start the Wolves game.
Nuno will move ahead with a 4-3-3 formation. Hugo Lloris will be replaced in goal by Pierluigi Gollini, who will be shielded by Davinson Sanchez and Joe Rodon in central defence. New arrival Emerson Royal has had a tough period settling into English football. He will get replaced by Japhet Tanganga returning from suspension while Welsh left-back Ben Davies would fill on the opposite flank.
Harry Winks and Oliver Skipp will be tasked to keep things tight in the middle of the park while the creative onus could fall on the shoulders of Tanguy Ndombele, who is steadily making his way into Nuno’s plans. Bryan Gil would get another chance to impress with his technical elegance, and he will partner with Son and Kane in the attacking frontline.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gollini; Tanganga, Sanchez, Rodon, Davies; Winks, Skipp, Ndombele; Gil, Kane, Son
- Ryan Mason notably led Spurs out in last year’s Carabao Cup final before serial champions Manchester City dashed their hopes, but Spurs have failed to go past the fourth round in four of the past five editions of the competition.
- There have been exactly 100 past meetings between these sides. Tottenham have the edge in head-to-head record with 50 wins while Wolves have only won 29 times.
- The last time these two sides met was in the Premier League earlier this season, with Tottenham registering a narrow 1-0 win away from home.
- Harry Kane will be confident going into this game, as he boasts a decent record against Wolves; he has netted three goals in 5 appearances against the Midlands outfit.
- Tottenham and Wolves have clashed three times in the League Cup previously, winning one game each (D1).
Player to Watch
Bryan Gil signed for Tottenham from Sevilla in a deal worth €25 million, with Erik Lamela moving the other way. He has since shown glimpses of why the highly-rated Spaniard cost that much. Known as “the little Cruyff”, the 20-year-old is a special talent with great ball control and technical quality. He has shown flashes of his brilliance in the limited game time he has had so far.
The prospect of playing alongside a deadly duo in Son and Kane will give the youngster the freedom and loads of opportunities to show his talent in this game. There is no denying the fact that Tottenham has acquired a top talent who has the potential of becoming the next superstar at North London and a good showing on Wednesday would just reaffirm that.
Wolves 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Wolves play an attacking brand of football under Bruno Lage, especially at Molineux; they tend to excite their fans by playing exquisite passes and interplay. But this approach sometimes backfires if the opposition are clinical enough on counter-attacks to exploit a much-exposed Wolves backline.
Tottenham aren’t in good form and will be pushing ever-harder with desperation to get a positive result from this fixture. The duo of Son and Kane needs to click if Spurs want to succeed in this tricky tie. The Hard Tackle is predicting a 2-1 win for the north Londoners, in what will be a big result ahead of the derby against Arsenal.