Can Tottenham bring themselves back into the Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea?

Tottenham will be hoping they can show up in their home fixture in the second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Finals, where they are down by two goals against London rivals, Chelsea.

Chelsea, through a quick-fire goal courtesy of Kai Havertz and a first-half own goal by Ben Davis, have a relaxing two-goal cushion as they head to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in an attempt to be the first of two to qualify for the EFL Cup Finals.

However, it might not be a walk in the park with Spurs, under Antonio Conte, unbeaten at home across all competitions; he has been in charge of eight home games since taking over from Nuno Santo back at the start of November 2021.

Counting against Conte and in favour of the visiting Thomas Tuchel: yes, the North Londoners have won seven and drawn one at home under the Italian’s guidance but they have struggled to keep a clean sheet, conceding in every home game barring three.

Seven goals let by in eight outings for Tottenham (11 goals conceded in 13 games in charge for Conte) and they might have to do a good job at the back without the doubtful Eric Dier, who has been a permanent fixture in Conte’s selection.

What needs to improve for Tottenham?

  • They only took five shots at goal with only two hitting the target. Without Son fit for selection, they need Harry Kane and the rest of the attacking line to be ruthless in front of goal
  • No secret… Their defence is terrible. They have conceded too many goals on home soil and have thrown away leads in important games — a clean sheet is the only option here
  • They need to stay more on the ball and control the game during more phases of the 90 minutes — only recording 380 passes (Chelsea 669 passes) and having as little as 36% possession, won’t win you a lot of football matches, especially against the top six.
  • They must try to limit the number of free-kicks in dangerous and hurting areas, against them.

How do Chelsea pass the Spurs test?

  • Make sure of the clean sheet – they do not have to play expensive football and the scoreline plays into Tomas Tuchel’s gameplan
  • Put the speed on the pitch up front and break Spurs on the counter – Spurs’ backline is quite slow and can be beaten with pace
  • Lukaku and co must take their chances — the forgiven Belgian and the rest of the Blues attack took 19 shots at goal and only five were on target. Better finishing is needed for the Blues efficiency to return

Spurs injury news:

Nothing new for Spurs, with the manager admitting he and the coaching staff would be silly to risk any players to long-term injuries by playing them too earlier in this fixture.

The biggest loss that is a definite absentee is Tottenham’s best player this season, Son Heung-min.

Antonio Conte on Spurs’ injury doubts:

Fresh players injured no, but we didn’t recover the players that are injured.

When he was asked if Dier was out he said:

Yeah, but I don’t want to speak about the names. A couple of injuries that they are very close, very close to start to play again but it’s better not to take a stupid risk for the game tomorrow because we risk losing players for a long time. (Via: football.london)

Chelsea have no further issues and are in a similar situation.

Chelsea have the pair of N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva coming back thanks to negative COVID tests but might not even be involved later this evening, as Tuchel too does not want to risk two of his key players in Kante and Silva.

Report on Chelsea duo:

Silva and Kante were both absent from the win over Chesterfield because they were self-isolating after returning positive Covid-19 tests.

Silva’s wife took to social media to share a negative lateral flow test on the weekend, but Tuchel has confirmed that the club are waiting to make last minute decisions on the pair’s fitness going into the game.

Thomas Tuchel said:

 We have the same guys as we have in the cup game. No new injuries which is good for us, then we have to wait on the last minute decisions for Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante.

(Via: football.london)

Ready for a well-contested duel between the two London clubs. I do see Tottenham getting on the scoresheet but winning it might be too much for the North London club to accomplish with all their problems at the back.