Tottenham face what should be one of the easiest games of their season on paper this Wednesday as they face Championship outfit Stoke City in the Quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Indeed, any game against second-tier opposition should be quite straightforward for a team of Spurs’ quality, but the reality is, this game could end up being quite a stressful match for Jose Mourinho.
This game has come at a very delicate time, during the busy festive period, so Mourinho has a big job on his hands when it comes to squad rotation.
Of course, there’ll be the temptation to rotate heavily, there always is for a cup game, but Mourinho will be more aware than most that this competition represents a great chance for Spurs to lift their first trophy in 14 years, so he has to strike a balance between preserving fitness and playing a strong XI.
With that in mind, we’ve had a go at predicting Spurs’ starting XI for this one.
We expect Mourinho to rotate heavily for this one, with a massive eight changes predicted.
However, such is Tottenham’s strength in depth, this team is still a very strong one, and it’s similar to what we’ve been seeing in the Europa League this season.
The entirety of the defence has changed for this one, with Joe Hart, Matt Doherty, Davinson Sanchez, Joe Rodon and Ben Davies coming in, while there are fewer switches in the midfield.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Moussa Sissoko retain their places in the starting XI, while Dele Alli gets a rare start just days after he was linked with a move away from the club after Giovani Lo Celso came off injured vs Leicester.
Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura start on the wings, while Harry Kane keeps his spot up top.