Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to put their Premier League woes behind them when they meet in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Turf Moor will host the Carabao Cup fourth round clash between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. Both sides will be looking to turn the tide on their disappointing seasons so far by sealing a spot in the quarterfinals of the domestic cup competition.

Burnley are still winless in the Premier League since the beginning of the 2021/22 season, despite the creative spark supplied by summer recruit Maxwel Cornet. But Sean Dyche’s men were again caught out at the back in a disappointing 2-2 draw away from home against Southampton last weekend in the Premier League.

The Clarets’ thrashed Rochdale 4-1 at home in the last round of the Carabao Cup with Jay Rodriguez netting all four goals. It is the only game that Burnley have won within the 90 minutes this campaign, with Dyche’s men having depended on penalties to beat Newcastle in round two of the competition.

Tottenham have slipped recently despite a solid start to the campaign. Spurs, with wholly different sides, endured back-to-back defeats last week, losing on the road to Vitesse Arnhem in UEFA Europa Conference League and to West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s return to Wolves for the Carabao Cup third-round tie was equally difficult, as his team gave away a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 after regular time, but kept their cool in the penalty shootout to progress to the next round. The Lilywhites will be aiming to turn the corner once again. And ahead of their vital fixture against Burnley, The Hard Tackle takes a look at both sides.

Team News & Tactics

Burnley

Burnley defender Ben Mee was ruled out against Southampton as he was recovering from the after-effects of COVID-19. However, Charlie Taylor and Matej Vydra were both deemed fit enough to feature at the weekend. It is unclear whether Mee would be risked for this cup tie, whilst midfielder Dale Stephens is the hosts’ sole injury concern as he recovers from a long-term foot injury.

A strong cup run would be a small piece of success for Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche, but he will be focused on the more important task of avoiding relegation from the Premier League. Thus, the Burnley boss may stick with the resolute 4-4-2 system as usual with heavy rotation for the cup tie.

Wayne Hennessey will take his place between the sticks. Guarding him in central defence would be the duo of Kevin Long and Nathan Collins. Erik Pieters and Matt Lowton are set to operate on the flanks but are expected to be compact and solid at the back, providing added support to the two centre-backs.

The midfield quartet will consist of Dwight McNeil, Josh Brownhill, Ashley Westwood and Aaron Lennon. McNeil would be the creator-in-chief, putting in teasing crosses for the forward line while Lennon still poses a decent threat despite losing a yard of pace due to recurring injuries.

Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez will both eye returns to the starting XI for this one and will be handed a chance to impress. Rodriguez scored four times in the last Carabao Cup tie against Rochdale. He will be hoping for similar exploits in this game to give Dyche a selection headache ahead of this weekend’s league encounter against Brentford.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Hennessey; Pieters, Long, Collins, Lowton; McNeil, Brownhill, Westwood, Lennon; Rodriguez, Vydra

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Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs boss Nuno allowed his second-stringers an opportunity to feature against Vitesse in the UEFA Europa Conference League, and with a crucial encounter against Manchester United coming up at the weekend, he would not be keen on deploying a full-strength squad on Wednesday either.

Tottenham pair Ryan Sessegnon and Matt Doherty would’ve been in the picture to start this game, but both are expected to miss out due to a hamstring injury and a knock, respectively. Nuno does not have any new injury worries following the defeat to West Ham but will use this game to rotate players, with Bryan Gil and Dele Alli looking to return to the starting lineup.

Son Heung-min has scored four goals and assisted on two more in his previous six Carabao Cup appearances, but the South Korean star will most likely be left on the bench for this match. The Portuguese manager is likely to set up his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Pierluigi Gollini will also get a chance to start in goal replacing first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, while there could be personnel changes in the backline too.

The centre-back pairing of Joe Rodon and Davinson Sanchez could return for the midweek tie while Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga will feature as the full-backs. The Welshman boasts good quality crosses in his locker. He will be asked to push forward and offer the necessary width against a low block.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp will slot in the double midfield pivot providing the grit and steel, while also acting as a link between defence and attack. The trio of Gil, Alli, and Steven Bergwijn could be handed starts just behind the lone striker in Harry Kane.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gollini; Davies, Rodon, Sanchez, Tanganga; Skipp, Hojbjerg; Bergwijn, Alli, Gil; Kane

Spurs

Key Stats

  • Burnley’s 4-1 victory over Rochdale in Carabao Cup last month was their solitary win in their past 16 attempts at Turf Moor in all competitions.
  • Tottenham have topped the recent head-to-head record between the two teams, having won three of their past five matches against Burnley – netting 11 goals and conceding just once over the course of these matches.
  • The last Carabao Cup tie between these sides ended in a 6-4 aggregate win for Spurs at Turf Moor in the semi-finals of the 08/09 campaign before the Lilywhites eventually lost to Manchester United in the final.
  • Harry Kane boasts a terrific track record versus Burnley. He has netted nine goals and produced three assists from 12 games against the Clarets.

Player to Watch

Harry Kane

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The England skipper remains a central figure of importance to this Tottenham side under Nuno. This became apparent in their dismal defeat to Vitesse in Conference League last Thursday where the Lilywhites felt his absence. Despite heavy criticism over his mentality and slow start to the season after the failed Man City move, the 28-year-old has stepped up in recent times for the Lilywhites.

Kane has a tally of seven goals and an assist from 12 appearances in all competitions so far this term. He also broke his rut in the Premier League with a goal and an assist against Newcastle. Despite having drawn a blank against a high-flying West Ham side last weekend, one would surely back Kane to come good and shoulder the responsibility to get Spurs past Burnley and through to the next round.

Prediction

Burnley 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham haven’t exactly shown any consistency over the course of the season until now, and the Turf Moor crowd have every reason to feel optimistic about the chances of their side pulling off an upset on Wednesday night. Sean Dyche will set up his side with two banks of four with little to no space between the lines to reduce any vulnerability.

However, Nuno will view this game as an opportunity for his team to regain confidence and keep aspirations of ending their trophy drought alive. He might as well field a relatively strong side with enough firepower up top to get past a struggling Burnley side. Hence, The Hard Tackle predicts a narrow 2-1 win for Nuno & co. securing progression to the quarterfinals of the competition.

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