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Spurs Odyssey Carabao Cup semi-final preview - Spurs v Chelsea, 08.01.2019

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Spurs Full Cup Record against Chelsea

FA Cup


09-10    2     A     1-0  Humphreys
56-57    4     H     4-0  Harmer R Smith 
			  Stokes Medwin
63-64    3     H     1-1  Dyson
         3R    A     0-2
64-65    5     A     0-1
66-67    F     W     2-1  Robertson Saul
81-82    6     A     3-2  Archibald Hoddle 
01-02    6     H     0-4
06-07    6     A     3-3  Berbatov, o.g., Ghaly
06-07    6R    H     1-2  Keane(pen)
11-12    SF    N     1-5  Bale, 56
16-17    SF    N     2-4  Kane, Dele

League Cup

71-72   S-F    A     2-3  Chivers, Naylor
71-72   S-F    H     2-2  Chivers, Peters
90-91   Q-F    A     0-0
90-91   Q-F    H     0-3
01-02   S-F    A     1-2  Ferdinand
01-02   S-F    H     5-1  Iversen, Sherwood
                          Sheringham, Davies
07-08    F     W     2-1  Berbatov (pen), Woodgate
14-15    F     W     0-2

There is a record to be maintained this year

There is an important record that Spurs need to maintain this year. Unless we can win one of the four major trophies (in all of which we still have an interest) this year, this will be the first decade since the 40s in which we will not have won a major trophy. We made a significant step at Tranmere on Friday night, and this match represents our next big step towards the maintenance of that particular record. Any trophy would be nice, of course, this year.

When we last won a trophy, which was the League Cup (and here's where Chelsea fans have a chortle or two, because they've won a few more than us in recent years) in 2008, we beat Manchester City 2-0 (away) in the quarter-final, in the run-up to Christmas; Arsenal in a magical semi-final when we won the home leg 5-1; before facing Chelsea in the unforgettable final. So, this season, we could achieve the same success by beating the same teams except in a different order. A 5-1 home leg semi-final win against Chelsea would be marvellous, wouldn't it?

Having beaten Chelsea twice in 2018 - 3-1 at home and historically at Stamford Bridge - there is every reason for Spurs to feel confident going into this tie. Both teams fielded less than full strength sides in their FA Cup ties at the weekend, and I suspect will field as strong a side as is possible tomorrow night. Spurs' next game is on Sunday at home to Manchester United. Chelsea have to play on Saturday tea-time at home to Newcastle. Realistically, there is no reason for either manager to be resting players for this game.

Chelsea had a tougher job in the FA Cup than did Spurs, but could have won by a bigger margin if early refereeing decisions had gone in their favour. One of those was Morata failing to win a penalty appeal when fouled by Claudio Yacob, who formerly played for West Brom. Morata did score two goals (his first in 6 games) but also managed to put a shot over the bar from two yards out. I'm not sure he knew that he happened to be offside.

Morata probably isn't going to start this game, and Eden Hazard was not called off the bench for Chelsea against Forest. We can certainly expect to be facing Hazard and other unused subs in the Forest game such as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, and Jorginho. Azpilicueta and Kante only appeared briefly too.

We were told before the Tranmere game that Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela had returned to training. Whether that means they might be available for this game remains to be seen, but if at all, I suspect they might make it to the bench. Mauricio Pochettino has indicated that Paulo Gazzaniga is likely to get the nod for this game, having played in all our Carabao Cup games so far. I anticipate that apart from that change, we will see the team which beat Cardiff 3-0 away, most of whom were rested at Tranmere - Gazzaniga; Trippier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose; Sissoko, Winks; Eriksen, Dele, Son; Kane. Spurs have announced that Lucas Moura is definitely out after sustaining a knee injury against Tranmere (must have been that goalkeeper challenge in the area), and that he will need to be assessed before the United game. Gazzaniga's record for Spurs is Played 8 - Won 8 (including the penalty shoot-out win over Watford). He certainly fills me with confidence, and I see him as our future number one keeper.

Son has been in great form for Spurs and his goalscoring run of 12 goals in 17 games started with two goals at The London Stadium in the Carabao Cup and included his fantastic solo goal against Jorginho and Chelsea in our 3-1 home win in November. Harry Kane will be keen to score and take a clear lead over Cliff Jones to become our fourth highest club goalscorer. Harry has scored in his last five games, and he is about to hit the 20 goal mark for the fifth consecutive season.

This is a game where the Wembley attendance has been capped at 51,000, but there should be a great atmosphere. I am hoping for a two goal lead for Spurs to take to the second leg at Stamford Bridge in two weeks' time, but even that would leave the tie in the balance.


Tomorrow's match referee will be Michael Oliver, who was fourth official at Newport for their FA Cup win over Leicester yesterday. Mr. Oliver's only Spurs game this season has been the home defeat by Liverpool in September. He has recently been in charge of three 5-1 games - Cardiff v Man Utd, Burnley v Everton and Liverpool v Arsenal. I wouldn't mind that again - in our favour, of course!

Spurs' record in recent London Derby League matches

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - on 9th January, 1999, Steffen Freund made his Spurs debut in a 0-0 draw at Hillsbrorough. On the same date 17 years ago we lost 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. The second leg went rather better!

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