Tottenham Hot. - Everton

Tottenham started the recent campaign in manner that announced the different outright than in dozen previous seasons. Six wins, a draw and two defeats against English (world’s) giants Manchester United (1-3 at home) and Chelsea (0-3). But, real bad luck came at Saturday against Stoke City. Spurs were dominating, created a bunch of chances, but lost 0-1 and maybe more important got two more injuries. Jonathan Woodgate (once again) and Aaron Lennon picked up the knocks and there no reason for risking with them in Cup game. Jermaine Defoe’s ban applied for cup competition as well, while Jermaine Jenas has four yellow cards and the question is will “Arry” keep him for Saturday’s North London derby against Arsenal. I think he won’t as he has better option available (returned from international Wilson Palacios, for example). Expensive investment that has been warming the bench, Roman Pavlyuchenko will get the chance, as well as winger David Bentley and some of defenders Michael Dawson, Alan Hutton, Gareth Bale and Kyle Naughton. Spurs have a depth, pay attention on cup competitions and they have failed to reach at least the quarter-finals just once in their last six attempts.

Everton have been facing a lots of problems in recent campaign. Three wins in starting nine rounds is not something that their fans had on the mind in August. Main reason for that is long injury list. Phil Neville, Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar and Mikel Arteta, four keys are long time injured. Aiyegbeni Yakubu, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Joseph Yobo, Leighton Baines and Leon Osman are unfit and under the question mark for tonight’s encounter. Nine players. Also, playing in Europe doesn’t help. In the midweek, Everton crashed in Portugal (Benfica 0-5), three days later lost on the road vs. Bolton 2-3. For the weekend will host Aston Villa, then again Europe, Premiership… Even with a full squad this schedule would demand more than a decent effort. And looking on the future games, I see this one as the easiest to be “sacrificed”. Moyes, as Redknapp will change the cards and give the chance to some youngsters (like in Portugal). Louis Saha is in decent shape and he should be the biggest threat to Spurs. Players take any moment to speak about their fighting spirit, but I see them as clear underdogs here. Except their semi-final appearance in 2007., they only once reached the last eight in 21 attempts.

Both managers will give a chance to some players that haven’t been playing a lot, lately. But, the difference is, Spurs' fringe players are actually very good. Healthy competition for a spot in starting eleven should produce a nice display tonight and home win. Pinnacle offer 1.79. It's a deal.


One more before the kick-off.

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