5 Tottenham ‘must dos’ to ensure Capital One Cup glory
Tottenham will go into the Capital One Cup final as the 2/1 underdogs to lift the trophy, but having beaten opponents Chelsea in their most recent clash, the Lilywhites shouldn’t be overawed by the occasion.
Of course, the last time Spurs ribbons were attached to a cup back was back in 2008 when Chelsea were on the losing side in the final of this competition, though the current Jose Mourinho class will take some beating.
Here are five ways Spurs could help deliver their fans the trophy they crave:
1. Play with the same intensity that they did against Chelsea on New Year’s Day
Only Everton had scored more than twice against Chelsea all season until Spurs rattled Mourinho’s men with that 5-3 Premier League victory on New Year’s Day.
Reproducing the intensity of performance, especially when harrying Chelsea in possession, which Mauricio Pochettino has made his trademark since moving to English football, will be crucial.
2. Make the most of Nemanja Matic’s absence by getting Christian Eriksen into space
It’s absolutely no surprise to learn that Chelsea midfielder Matic was missing for two out of three Chelsea losses his team have suffered across all competitions this season.
The Serbian enforcer is the most adept protector of the back four in the Premier League and what better player to exploit this huge miss for Chelsea than Tottenham playmaker Eriksen.
3. Get Harry Kane running at John Terry and Gary Cahill whenever possible
‘The hurricane’ literally sent JT and Cahill – statistically the top flight’s steeliest defensive pairing – into a spin at White Hart Lane by constantly forcing them to turn on their heels as he ran directly at them.
Seven more goals have followed for Kane since then.
4. Double up on Eden Hazard
There is no doubt the lion’s share of dangerous Chelsea attacks come from the left flank where Hazard can be found bamboozling defenders, creating and scoring goals.
The Belgian winger has scored nine and assisted six more in the league alone and served Spurs a notice by notching home and away against them this season.
5. Wind Diego Costa up wherever possible
The Brazilian-born centre-forward is a brilliant player but as his recent three-match ban for stamping (and general behaviour before then) proves, he can be easily coerced into taking rash actions.
A one-man advantage would suit Spurs nicely, especially if the game goes to extra time.
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