Two consecutive away draws versus West Brom and Bournemouth have dampened the optimistic mood that had emerged at White Hart Lane after the 2-0 victory over Manchester City and, despite having a reputation for fielding under-strength teams in the EFL Cup, Pochettino will be seeking a positive performance from the youngsters that will be likely to start midweek. Spurs cruised through the Third Round with a 5-0 home victory over former-Spur Justin Edinburgh’s Gillingham side and the White Hart Lane faithful perhaps want to see the team bring a trophy home this season – their last cup success was in this competition in 2008 when Jonathan Woodgate scored an extra-time winner against rivals Chelsea in the final at Wembley. Ahead of a hectic schedule, Pochettino will be looking to rest several of his key players in an attempt to prepare them for next week’s crucial games against Leicester, Leverkusen and Arsenal and has already revealed, through his press conference, that it will be Michel Vorm who will start between the sticks with Hugo Lloris to be rested. Here is the starting eleven I would field for the Liverpool fixture:
Probably the most capable deputy goalkeeper in the Premier League, Vorm will start the game against Liverpool today. Following his transfer from Swansea, the Dutch international has had to adapt to a place on the bench but has impressed when given the opportunity. His best performance in a Spurs shirt probably came this season against the same opposition at White Hart Lane – Vorm made several vital saves and frustrated Liverpool with his role as a ‘sweeper-keeper’, denying Liverpool’s attack opportunities on goal.
The Welsh international has pushed Danny Rose all the way throughout his time at the club but is still second choice for Pochettino. Davies will be likely to start and is yet to score for Spurs, although came close against West Brom, seeing several opportunistic efforts parried by English keeper Ben Foster.
‘Big Kev’ is liked around White Hart Lane after impressing last season when Jan Vertonghen picked up an injury but has fallen out of favour with Pochettino over the summer and has been struggling to make match-day squads recently. However, following the media’s questioning of Pochettino on the status of Wimmer, he revealed that there isn’t a problem and he was given a place on the substitute’s bench against Bournemouth. With Vertonghen in need of a rest, Wimmer will be likely to start.Embed from Getty Images
The US defender is admired by Pochettino and I see the Argentine giving him a chance despite the opposition being strong. Carter-Vickers impressed many during the pre-season fixtures in Australia when he played alongside Alderweireld and with his strength, Vertonghen labelled him as a ‘beast’, we could see him playing more frequently imminently.
Trippier has played well in the Champions League this season and is certainly pushing Kyle Walker for a place in the starting eleven but remains second choice and will be likely to have a place in the starting eleven for this EFL tie at Anfield.
Winks is another young, English academy product that Pochettino admires and with the manager saying that he wishes to play the youngsters, this would be the ideal opportunity for Winks to prove his worth. Klopp has already underlined the importance he gives to this competition through his previous team selections meaning Winks will need to play with confidence if he is to stop the Liverpool attack.
Although Pochettino loves these types of games to present the young players with an opportunity, I believe he would have seen the way Klopp views the competition and would like to play Dier to break up play in the middle of the park in defensive midfield as Liverpool will play with a strong attack. With the return of Alderweireld imminent and with the superb form of Wanyama, Dier may be pushed onto the bench in the future so this game is ideal for Dier to prove to the manager that he is on the same level of Wanyama and Dembele.
After grabbing his first goal for Spurs in the previous round, Onomah will be disappointed if he is not named in the starting eleven for this match. The English winger has been in and around the first team since Pochettino took over as head coach and will be wanting to repay the faith shown by the manager by creating chances for others and perhaps being a goal threat himself.
Despite impressing the fans with his performance off the bench against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, N’koudou’s game time has been limited since his arrival in North London. Pochettino has indicated that the French winger will be likely to start today and he will be looking to use his blistering pace to trouble the fragile Liverpool defence.
Pochettino will also be looking to field some experience in his attack and Eriksen provides that and will be handed the captain’s armband if he starts. Eriksen snatched two goals against Gillingham and scored the goal that took Spurs to Wembley in this competition in 2015 so will be looking to continue his great form in the EFL Cup this evening. Following Moussa Sissoko’s ban, Pochettino will field either Eriksen or Lamela if he decides not to play Tom Carroll.
Pochettino will most likely rest Heung Min-Son with the fixture against Leicester City in mind so Vincent Janssen will get the opportunity to score his first goal from open play against Liverpool. Janssen opened his Spurs account in the previous round and will be seeking to grab a goal that will increase his confidence dramatically.
Who do you think Pochettino will start against Liverpool tomorrow? Do you think he will play Dier, Eriksen and Janssen? Is my starting eleven too strong for the EFL Cup? Should we prioritise a trophy over the Premier League and the Champions League? Let me know in the comments section below or send me a tweet, @Hotspur_Huddle