Spurs v Watford – Carabao Cup Preview

Spurs’ hectic schedule continues as they host Watford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 26th September. After beating Brighton at the weekend and ending their recent bad run of form, confidence will be restored in the squad as they aim to get to the next round.

Spurs last won the Carabao Cup, or the League Cup, in 2008 after beating Chelsea in the final at Wembley. Jonathan’s Woodgate extra time header was enough for Juande Ramos’ side after an earlier Dimitar Berbatov penalty had levelled things for Spurs. With Mauricio Pochettino admitting that he wants to fight on all fronts this season, the game against Watford will by no means be treated lightly by Spurs.

Watford reached the semi finals in 2005 but have never triumphed in the competition. Their excellent start in the Premier League will make it intriguing to see if manager Javi Gracia will put out a strong side for the match against Spurs.

However that was not the case for them in the last round, as 11 changes were made in their win over Reading. Domingos Quina and Isaac Success scored for the Hornets that night and it is expected that Watford will again put out a rotated side on Wednesday.

Spurs are also likely to make multiple changes to their team with games against Huddersfield and Barcelona fast approaching.

Spurs v Watford: Predicted Lineup

Spurs v Watford - Carabao Cup Preview

The team Pochettino will pick for the game against Watford is very hard to predict. However one thing that is for certain is that Paulo Gazzaniga will remain in goal.

Serge Aurier should play at right back after impressing against Inter Milan last week. Kyle Walker-Peters may get a start at left back, which is not surprising as Pochettino likes to rotate his full backs frequently. However Ben Davies could be picked ahead of Walker-Peters as he was not in the starting lineup against Brighton on Saturday.

Juan Foyth is being tipped to be in the Argentina squad despite not featuring for Spurs so far this season. Should he be fit, he will go into the starting lineup although Pochettino hinted in Tuesday’s press conference that will not be in action from the start.

Jan Vertonghen is expected to be rested, as is Toby Alderweireld, with record signing Davinson Sanchez coming into the starting eleven.

Victor Wanyama should start his first match of the campaign after being on the bench for the last few weeks for Spurs. Similarly, after being on the bench for the last two games, Harry Winks is likely to start against Watford.

Dele Alli returns to MK Dons

Dele Alli may go into the starting lineup on his return to Milton Keynes. It will be the first time he has returned to Stadium MK since joining Spurs permanently. He of course has good memories of Carabao Cup games at the ground, playing a starring role as a 18 year old in a 4-0 win over Manchester United.

Should he be back from injury Moussa Sissoko will be in with a chance of starting for Spurs. If not it may well be that Erik Lamela starts after forcing himself into Pochettino’s first choice XI with his recent performances from the bench.

Forgotten man Georges-Kevin Nkoudou may make a rare appearance for Spurs. He was not named in Spurs’ Champions League squad but is still part of the first team. It could be a chance for him to show other teams what he is capable of after a mediocre loan spell at Burnley towards the end of last season.

Fernando Llorente will get a chance from the start for the first time this season. The Spaniard has only made a handful of substitute appearances so far and will be eager to show his manager and fans what he can offer against Watford.

One to Watch

We’ve picked out Isaac Success as the key man for Watford. He has not regularly featured in the Premier League but scored for Watford in the last round of the Carabao Cup and will want to keep up his scoring form in the competition. Much was expected from him when he signed for a record fee from Spanish side Granada but he has not yet played to his potential.

What the Managers have Said

Mauricio Pochettino

“From the beginning of season we have been making changes and making a lot of changes in the Premier League and different games. For me it’s a squad game and competition. In four years we have played one final and two semi-finals and that means we always take all the competitions very seriously and try to win. Like last year against Manchester United and the previous season against Chelsea and the final, in some circumstances against Chelsea too, it because you took it very seriously. The idea is we want to win tomorrow.” (football.london)

Javi Gracia

“The final is tomorrow. If you don’t win, you don’t have more chances. This is the best mentality; play it as a final. We’ll see what happens in the future, but we are going to play the next game as a final. The Carabao Cup is a good competition, we try to do our best and we’ll see if we are able to spend more time in this competition. All the games are important.” (Watford FC)

Score Prediction: Spurs 3-1 Watford

With both teams expected to be much changed we’re expecting goals. Spurs have a strong squad and some of the fringe players will be desperate to show what they can do. Therefore we are predicting a Spurs win as well as a Dele Alli goal on his return to Milton Keynes.

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