Spurs host Gillingham on Wednesday night in the third round of the Football League Cup, a clash of course that they expect to win convincingly. Also expected is heavy rotation given the wealth of fixtures that are building up for Tottenham throughout September. We take a look here at the options for Mauricio Pochettino’s young side and settle on our predicted starting XI.
Pau Lopez is still rather new to the club following his move loan move from Espanyol and Hugo Lloris has rightfully returned to number one status following injury, Thus Michel Vorm should take the gloves in another opportunity to show his value after some strong early season form with Lloris sidelined.
Ben Davies should start at left full back following his Premier League omission, with Danny Rose still unavailable. On the right Kieran Trippier will see a welcome return to first team action with Kyle Walker assumingly rested. The centre of defence will be intriguing. Cameron Carter-Vickers appears to have earned a start in this cup tie, joined by either Kevin Wimmer or one of the established Belgian pairing of Alderweireld and Vertonghen. Wimmer’s absence from the match day squad has been mystifying to some, and his status in the eyes of Mauricio Pochettino may well be confirmed by his selection or otherwise tonight.
Following the second half withdrawals on the weekend of Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele, they are unlikely to be risked. Victor Wanyama too has had a heavy workload already, whilst Tom Carroll and Harry Winks have seen little if any game time. Therefore we expect at least one of Carroll and Winks to start in the central/defensive midfield pairing. Moussa Sissoko appears another option in midfield but after a strong showing in his full debut on Sunday, tougher assignments appear his calling.
Tottenham’s options here are plentiful. Christian Eriksen was rested at the weekend, whilst Erik Lamela came on as a sub rather late. But they won’t be required except once again off the bench, should disaster strike and Spurs somehow find themselves behind. Josh Onomah looks likely to start either in the centre or on the right, but from there it is really anyone’s guess.
Pochettino has indicated that starlet Marcus Edwards is training with and ready to play for the first team but appears more likely as a second half inclusion. Heung-Min Son has surely earned a rest, but Georges-Kevin N’Koudou we have learned only speaks French and this appears an issue during his integration period. Tom Carroll could also be an option to play further forward, while Eriksen may be included at least for a half to add some experience in the final third. Also a possible on the bench is Dele Alli, again in case of emergency.
In Harry Kane’s absence, Vincent Janssen is now Spurs’ sole recognised striker. He will no doubt lead the line and hope to get on the scoresheet. In an ideal world he scores twice and is withdrawn early in the second half, then replaced by the unproven Shayon Harrison. Like Edwards, Carter-Vickers and Onomah, Harrison featured heavily during pre-season and following some prolific exploits in youth football over the years, could be ready for a cameo or two at senior level.
Predicted Starting XI & Subs:
Spurs: Vorm, Davies, Wimmer, Carter-Vickers, Tripper, Winks, Carroll, Eriksen, Onomah, Sissoko, Janssen.
Subs: Lopez/Lloris, Alderweireld, Wanyama, Edwards, N’Koudou, Alli/Lamela, Harrison.