Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s EFL Cup clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford square off in the EFL Cup semi-finals on Tuesday night as both clubs look to move a step closer to claiming the first silverware of 2020-21.
While Spurs returned to the top four in the Premier League table on Saturday with victory over Leeds United, the Bees hold fourth spot in the Championship after their fixture with Bristol City was postponed.
Having already played nine fixtures in the Europa League this season, Jose Mourinho will feel that his Spurs squad have been involved in more than enough matches since the beginning of September.
However, the Premier League side have only been required to come through two fixtures to reach this stage of the EFL Cup, three games fewer than their next opponents.
While Spurs have edged past Chelsea on penalties and outclassed Stoke City, Brentford started their journey to the last four when their upcoming foes were still involved in pre-season.
The Bees required penalties to see off Wycombe Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion along the way, but overcoming Southampton, Fulham and Newcastle United means that they will not be underestimated by their hosts.
Thomas Frank‘s team have not tasted defeat in any competition since a 3-2 reverse at Stoke on October 24, a run spanning 16 encounters.
Frank will hope that the unexpected cancellation of Saturday’s fixture with Bristol City does not have a negative effect on a group of players who have only benefitted from the unrelenting schedule in the Championship.
That said, it has provided the squad with more preparation time, and Frank could consider making fewer changes than what may have been required after another second tier game in quick succession.
Having also been afforded a rest midway through the Christmas and New Year period, Mourinho is likely to take a similar approach as he bids to win this competition for a fifth time.
Despite criticism of his playing style, two wins and a draw have been collected from tough contests against Stoke, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United.
Tottenham Hotspur EFL Cup form: DW
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): DLLWDW
Brentford EFL Cup form: DWDWW
Brentford form (all competitions): WDWWWW
Dele Alli is among a number of Spurs players who will be hoping for an opportunity to impress on Tuesday night.
The England international, Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura could all be brought into the team, while Davinson Sanchez is likely to replace either Toby Alderweireld or Eric Dier.
Giovani Lo Celso and Gareth Bale remained sidelined through injury, and Matt Doherty will miss out after his dismissal against Leeds.
Barring any late fitness issues, Frank could start with the same XI which begun the win over Bournemouth on December 30.
Tariqe Fosu-Henry is competing with Sergi Canos for a place on the left flank.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Moura, Alli, Son; Kane
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry; Dasilva, Janelt, Jensen; Mbuemo, Toney, Canos
We say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Brentford
Having been provided with a much-deserved break over the weekend, we expect Brentford to be firing on all cylinders at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, regardless of the amount of that which are made by Mourinho, Spurs should have enough in the tank to edge their way into the final.
Top betting tip
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