Match Preview; Spurs v Brentford in the EFL CUP – SEMI-FINAL
TUE 05 JAN 2021
Some may think that this is going to be an easy match, but no games are comfortable, especially in Cup competitions. There has been so many giant killings over the years that it would be stupid to say that we will win. And Spurs have been the victim of a few over the years. Saying that I expect (I hope!) we win and win well. Brentford are a good team, but so are we.
We had a good win on Saturday the 3rd, beating newly promoted Leeds United. The deadly duo (Kane & Son) displayed an excellent understanding once again to help fire us to a 3-0 win against Leeds and ensure we start the new year on a positive. Kane’s help for Son to score our second was the 13th time the pair combined this season, equalling the English top-flight record for goal combinations. However, if they start, I expect that they will be quickly substituted once they’ve done the business.
Jose Mourinho has stated that Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Brentford is the biggest game he has faced since taking charge of the club. Which is a far better attitude than Pochettino’s where he didn’t regard this competition as necessary. Pochettino should learn to walk before trying to run.
Mourinho is hoping to lead us to our first major trophy since 2008 (yes, 13 years ago). He has previously won the competition four times. It was his first trophy in English football in 2005, and he won it twice more with Chelsea and once with Manchester United in 2017. Mourinho is bidding to become the third manager to reach a League Cup final with three different clubs. And should we become victorious against the Bees we will face one of the Manchester clubs; both clubs we have beaten this season.
Mourinho stated that “Two difficult matches, of course, but if we win we get a trophy which I think would be a very good thing for the club and for the players.” If anybody can get us silverware, then he can.
Championship side Brentford have already beaten Premier League opposition on four occasions to reach their first-ever domestic semi-final.
We will be without right-back Matt Doherty, who is suspended after being sent off against Leeds, while fellow defender Joe Rodon is cup-tied. Giovani lo Celso (hamstring) and Gareth Bale (calf) will also be absent along with winger Erik Lamela who broke coronavirus rules with two team-mates over the Christmas period.
They are likely to be without midfielders Shandon Baptiste (knee) and Christian Norgaard (ankle). However, the Bees have no other injury concerns. All of their players have tested negative for coronavirus.
My thoughts and prediction
I can’t see us having any problems with the Bees; however, we can’t take anybody for granted at this stage of the competition. Brentford got where they are on merit.
Dele Alli will be hoping for an opportunity to play. Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura could all be in the team, while Davinson Sanchez is likely to replace Toby Alderweireld or Eric Dier.
Our possible starting lineup:
Hart; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Moura, Alli, Son; Kane
Tottenham Hotspur EFL Cup form: DW
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): DLLWDW
Brentford EFL Cup form: DWDWW
Brentford form (all competitions): WDWWWW
My prediction 3-0 or 4-0
This is the fourth time we have met in the League Cup, with all previous three meetings coming across two legs in the second round in 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2000-01, with us going through each time.
Brentford has never won an away match against us in seven attempts (D2 L5). Their last win over us was in March 1948 in a league match at Griffin Park.
We are participating in our 16th League Cup semi-final, progressing from eight of our previous 15 attempts, most recently in 2014/15. We have always progressed when facing a non-top-flight side (1970-71 vs Bristol City, 2008-09 vs Burnley, 2014-15 vs Sheffield United).
Jose Mourinho has won 15 of his 17 home League/FA Cup matches as a manager against non-Premier League sides (D1 L1). His only failures were against Bradford City in January 2015 with Chelsea in the FA Cup and against Derby County while with Manchester United in September 2018 in the League Cup.
Jose Mourinho is looking to become the third manager to reach the League Cup final with three different clubs, after Ron Atkinson (Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa) and Ron Saunders (Norwich, Manchester City and Aston Villa).
Brentford features in their first ever League Cup semi-final, becoming the 59th team to reach this stage. The last time a team reached this stage for the first time and progressed to the final was in 2012-13 (Bradford City and Swansea City).
Brentford are looking to register three consecutive wins in the League Cup for the first time in their history.
Brentford have already eliminated four Premier League teams in this season’s League Cup, only the second non-Premier League side to do so in a season, after Bristol City in 2017-18. They were eventually beaten in the semi-final by Manchester City.
So, that is it folks; win, and we are in the Finals.
Be safe and take care, Glenn