Search

Inside Lane: Spurs stars should be rested in FA Cup ahead of top-four clash with Leicester

11:33 06 January 2016

Tottenham

Tottenham's head coach Mauricio Pochettino must decide how to use his squad ahead of back-to-back clashes against Leicester City in the FA Cup and Premier League. Pic: PA

Archant

Tottenham blogger George Lacey says Mauricio Pochettino should rest his key players in Sunday’s FA Cup game against Leicester City and prioritise next week’s top-four showdown instead.

“Now the FA Cup is an occasion next best to Christmas Day” goes the Chas and Dave song, and for many years Spurs supporters would have echoed that sentiment, given the eight glorious occasions when we have lifted the trophy.

However, when Premier League high-fliers Leicester City make the first of their two upcoming visits to White Hart Lane on Sunday, in the pick of the FA Cup third-round ties, will Mauricio Pochettino have an eye on domestic silverware or Champions League qualification?

He seems to have found a settled starting XI. But, with the likes of Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentaleb and Heung-Min Son lacking match fitness, Sunday’s cup clash could be the ideal game to afford them starting berths. Not only do they need minutes, but competition for places is healthy and would keep the likes of Christian Eriksen, who has been below-par in recent matches, on his toes.

Spurs will face Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester for a second time at the Lane on Wednesday – this time in a league clash under the lights. And, with Spurs just six points behind north London rivals Arsenal at the top of the table, and four points off second-placed Leicester, it would be wise to rest key players ahead of that game.

Dele Alli has been outstanding, but it remains to be seen whether he and regular starters Harry Kane, Eric Dier and the outstanding centre-back pairing of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will be given Sunday off. There’s certainly a case to be made for rotation. That said, given the lack of cover at the back, I’d assume we will only rest one of our Belgian defenders.

And what of Kane? Just how many games can we squeeze out of him before he’s ruled out by an injury? As fantastic as he has been for Spurs, it’s at times like this where you can afford to give over-worked players a breather and, in Kane’s case, a much-deserved one. He looked shattered against Everton.

Wednesday’s match against top-four rivals Leicester is of greater importance than the cup tie and a win for us would narrow the margin between the two sides to a solitary point.

If we can avoid a replay in the cup, we then have two games in January where we should be aiming to pick up maximum points – at home against Sunderland and then away at Crystal Palace.

Sorry to the romantics but Pochettino needs to prioritise the league.

Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeLacey_

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Tottenham Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Tottenham Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Tottenham Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Tottenham Sports News

Yesterday, 22:30
Michel Vorm (left) slides in to tackle Liverpool's Sadio Mane

Reserve goalkeepers can be easily forgotten - just ask Michel Vorm.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Danny Rose (right) celebrates his leveller at White Hart Lane. Pic: Steve Paston/PA Wire

Danny Rose cancelled out James Milner’s first-half penalty with a second-half equaliser as Spurs drew 1-1 with Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Here are five talking points.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha (right) could soon be lining up alongside Tottenham's Victor Wanyama (left) after Spurs made a move to sign the 23-year-old today

Mauricio Pochettino admits he would like to sign a pacy attacking midfielder before the end of the transfer window as Tottenham seek to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to White Hart Lane.

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admits he is frustrated that a host of his players will be departing for international duty again after this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.