Jose Mourinho got sacked yesterday and one of the biggest favorites for taking his place as Man United manager is Mauricio Pochettino. Can these speculations shaken up the atmosphere in Tottenham’s locker-room? We may find the answer to that question this Wednesday evening when Spurs play against their city rivals, Arsenal in the quarter-final of the League Cup. The game takes place at the Emirates and same as any other North London derby, this one too is guaranteed to be exciting. And if you were looking for an Arsenal vs Tottenham prediction, here’s one for you!
Last weekend, Southampton managed to put an end to Arsenal’s impressive streak of 22 matches in a row without a defeat. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they’ve suddenly gotten themselves in a bad position. On the contrary, Arsenal players look keen to bounce right back and start winning again.
Still, even though they won most of those 22 matches, many believe that they were lucky on more than just a few occasions. They do seem powerful in the attack, but their defense does not give their fans confidence. This was particularly true in the last couple of weeks, when Arsenal had an injury crisis at the back.
Almost all of their standard center-backs were either injured or having problems with their fitness. This is why in the game with Southampton, Emery had to play Koscielny for the first time after a serious injury. He paired him with Lichtsteiner, who usually plays the role of the right-back.
The good news is that the bad days seem to be over now. For example, Sokratis is back after serving a suspension due to yellow cards. And he’ll probably feature in this game, together with Koscielny, while we should see Lichtsteiner on the right side. Another change we might see here is between the posts. Leno hasn’t been too impressive lately, so maybe Cech will get his chance this time.
The last time Tottenham lost was when they played Arsenal at the Emirates. The score was 4:2 for the Gunners, but that didn’t have a too bad effect on the Spurs, who bounced right back with a victory in the next round. And they kept on playing well, winning two more games in the Premier League, as well as playing draw with Barcelona in Spain.
The draw with Barca booked them a place in the knockouts of the Champions League, which definitely has a major impact on the motivation and the confidence of their players. The Spurs show no signs of backing down, even though they have some injury concerns.
The thing is that although none of their key men is out, some of them may struggle with fitness. After all, players like Kane have to play all the time. But, that might chance in a few weeks’ time once the transfer window opens. Until then, these guys will have to give their utmost in every single game. Still, I won’t be surprised if Pochettino decided to make a couple of chances in order to give some players a rest. For example, I suspect we might see Llorente playing in the first 11 instead of Kane.
- Hector Bellerin (injury)
- Rob Holding (injury)
- Konstantinos Mavropanos (injury)
- Danny Welbeck (injury)
- Eric Dier (injury)
- Mousa Dembele (injury)
- Victor Wanyama (injury)
- Vincent Janssen (injury)
Cech – Sokratis, Koscielny, Lichtsteiner, Monreal – Xhaka, Torreira, Ozil – Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Lloris – Alderweireld, Sanchez, Trippier, Rose – Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli – Son, Llorente
Arsenal vs Tottenham Prediction
I think Arsenal will have a stronger desire to win this game, not just because they want to bounce back after losing to Southampton, but also because winning the League Cup means ensuring a spot in the Europa League. Tottenham, on the other hand, have Champions League ambitions, meaning that their focus is on the Premier League.
Arsenal vs Tottenham Prediction
- Arsenal @2.60 (bet365)