Tottenham square off against relatively familiar opponent, Wycombe, in an FA Cup clash that sees Spurs presented with an opportunity to advance in the competition that has seen holders Arsenal, and numerous other namesakes, removed from the competition. The North London outfit, desperate for silverware, will undoubtedly know that they have a good chance to find themselves in the latter stages of the cup, and manager Jose Mourinho should field a strong eleven.
If previous matches are anything to go off of, one would expect Tottenham to tap into their depth – players such as Lucas Moura, Carlos Vinicius, Harry Winks, and a few others should get the nod, as all performed well in the competitions previous match against non-league minnows Marine FC. One would also expect Joe Rodon, who was superb against both Marine FC and shortly after, Premier League opponents Sheffield United, to get the nod at the back.
At the fullback/wingback positions, expect rotation in the form Matt Dougherty and Ben Davies, well rested after Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon’s respective performances against Sheffield. I do expect Mourinho, in hopes of achieving both a high-line/press and a system that will allow for stability at the back, to deploy three CB’s as he did against Sheffield, and this would lead one to expect that Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez would lineup alongside the aforementioned Rodon. While one would possibly bet that Ben Davies would be deployed as the left-sided center-back in the three, Spurs play Liverpool only days after Wycombe and I would expect Reguilon to be saved for the Premier League clash against the holders.
In the midfield, expect Harry Winks to be given a continuation on his domestic-cup opportunities as he looks to earn his place in the managers\’ plans. Alongside him, as Wycombe will be looking to break, I do expect Moussa Sissoko to get the start, as he is quite talented when it comes to reading breaks, occupying disruptive space and giving his midfield partner breathing room. The French International\’s role will be to allow Winks to operate as a metronome, as Spurs should have the majority of possession.
On the wing, I expect Lamela to be deployed opposite of the aforementioned Lucas Moura. Lucas performed quite well against Marine, and as many have seen, has maintained a significantly positive attitude as he has seen his minutes reduced in the last 6 months under the Portuguese boss. I would again, expect him to be rewarded for such. And as far as Lamela, the selection would come at a time in which Spurs are crying out for someone to offer both a creative approach and another goal threat, Spurs fans would welcome it with open arms. I would be remised to not also mention the spark that Lamela adds to the press, something which Mourinho seems to be working into his approach more and more as the season progresses.
Up top, as mentioned, I do expect Brazilian-loanee Carlos Vinicius to start ahead of Harry Kane, who can always benefit from a night off. Vinicius has been patient, calculated and (most importantly) has taken his chances when called upon, and he is well deserving of the opportunity to help see Spurs through. And lastly, I do expect to see Joe Hart in goal, as Hugo Lloris can (like Kane) always benefit from the chance to rest. However, I do expect that as Mourinho looks to field strengthened sides in the latter-stages of domestic cup competitions, this will be Joe Hart’s last appearance of the season.
Looking at Wycombe, it would stand to reason that they will be setup to absorb immense pressure and look for chances to break, but it won’t be easy. Spurs, while mega talented in attack, do often point their focus towards defensive stability and a collective goal to omit/avoid errors, and this will be challenging for Wycombe who would probably almost prefer Spurs to get forward in bundles.
Ultimately, I expect a strong performance and an easy win from the North-London side. 5-1 to Spurs.