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Tottenham: EFL team news; Sissoko charge accepted; Lloris admits Spurs struggles

Tottenham travel to Liverpool this evening in the EFL Cup fourth round for what should be an entertaining encounter. Last season’s league match at Anfield was one of the games of the season, a pulsating 1-1 draw with a fine goal apiece from Philippe Coutinho and Harry Kane. The two club’s met at White Hart Lane in August where they shared another 1-1 draw, and both teams have found it difficult to cope with the others pressing and work rate without the ball. These games tend to get condensed into the middle of the pitch, with two back fours that like to push up and play a high line when possible. There is usually very little space to work in, and tonight’s game will probably be another hard fought clash.

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Mauricio Pochettino is set to make changes to his team has is normal in domestic cup competitions. Michel Vorm will come in for the in form Hugo Lloris, while first choice full back Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are set to be rested. Dele Alli, Heung Min Son and Moussa Dembele are also set to sit out with youngster Josh Onomah and Marcus Edwards included in the squad. Spurs’ kids dismantled Gillingham 5-0 in the last round, and if they can get through this more exacting test the competition could open up for them. It’s a big opportunity for Vincent Janssen to impress; the summer signing has scored just one goal since joining the club last summer.

Elsewhere, Spurs have accepted Moussa Sissoko’s charge of violent conduct after his flailing elbow caught Harry Arter during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Bournemouth. Pochettino said:

“We accept it, as a club. After viewing the video we accept the charge and now we move forward.”

The FA decided that referee Craig Pawson did not see the incident despite him seeming to have an unobstructed view. However, they can deem that the officials failed to ‘recognise’ the severity of an incident despite seeing it. Pawson was helped by the fact he gave no decision whatsoever; had he booked Sissoko no charge would have been possible. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if more officials pursue a policy of inaction when it comes t off the ball incidents. Doing nothing means the video evidence can be used to arrive at the right decision at a later date.

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Finally, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has admitted that Spurs struggle to break down defensive teams. Tottenham had more draws than any other club last season, and have had three successive draws in all competitions. Quoted on MailOnline, the France No 1 said:

“Are teams playing more defensively against us this season than they were last? Yes, and when that is the case you need to use width a bit more than usual, try to create space, make a lot of runs. We tried that against Bournemouth but it was not enough.

“If we compare ourselves to some other teams, we all have the same problems when we play possession football. When you face defensive teams, they play very deep and you have to find a solution.”

Featured image: All rights reserved by Serg Hoholok

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