|COMPETITION||League Cup Third Round|
|DATE||Tuesday 20th September 2011|
Another mid-week and another Spurs team will take the field against the Giants Of Stoke in this League cup match.
Having seen off a disappointing Liverpool side, we meet the team who beat the Reds the week before. And we all know about Stoke don't we ? The big rough, tough side who have 75% of their first team squad over 6' and launch long-throws at their heads in the opposition box.
But there is more to Stoke than that nowadays. Wingers play a big part in their game and with new signings Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios, they are trying to put a different slant on their play these days. They might still work on the tactic of getting the ball into the box to create goals, but they seem to be trying to do it in a different manner.
Tired from their trip to the Ukraine last midweek, they crashed 0-4 to Sunderland at the weekend, but the team will be changed form that eleven, which also include dour former central defender Jonathan Woodgate.
Games like this will be hard to predict, with changes bringing about a lack of fluidity in play, as players find out which runs are made and which aren't and who should be covering who.
Spurs might not be too fussed if they go out at this stage of the competition, although Harry has said he wants to win it and I am sure Daniel Levy will want some revenue form the competition by going on a run, as well as some of the players who might not see the first team again should the side get knocked out.
With some of the fringe players given the chance, some will take it while others might regard it as a come-down to be playing with the kids in this competition, but Stoke's side might be in a similar state, so hopefully, the Tottenham players are up for it enough to go through by a narrow margin.
|PREDICTION||Stoke City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , history, etc.|
STOKE CITY TEAM NEWS :
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs will still be without Aaron Lennon, Danny Rose, Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson and Steven Pienaar, but could have a side out featuring Heurelho Gomes, Rafael van der Vaart, Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong, William Gallas, Sandro, Roman Pavlyuchenko and some of the younger players who have featured in the Europa League games.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Stoke City 0 (0)
Stoke City win 7-6 on penalties
League Cup Third Round
Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0)
|Crowd : 15,023||Weather : -|
|Referee : Lee Probert (-)||Assistant Referees : - (-)|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Stoke City kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.|
|Stoke City :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
(25 Crouch 12)
der Vaart (18
|Manager : Tony Pulis||Manager : Harry Redknapp|
|Sponsor : Britannia Building Society||Shirt sponsor : Investec|
|Kit Supplier : Adidas||Kit Supplier : Puma|
A League Cup tie that failed to muster a lot of excitement in 180 minutes saw a thrilling 25 minute penalty shoot-out that Stoke City won 7-6 in the end. In truth, it looked like a game that neither side was that bothered about winning, with some Spurs players looking less interested than others. Pavlyuchenko put in a shocking display that might well end with him leaving in the January transfer window, with his penalty topping his display by blasting it over the bar, when if he had scored it the pressure would have been on Stoke after just missing one themselves.
With both sides fielding weaker than normal sides, the tone was set early on with the game being littered with free-kicks and misplaced passes. Things weren't helped for the home side when Kenwyne Jones went down holding his leg in the eleventh minute and Peter Crouch had to replace him. Immediately following the substitution, a free-kick probably made Spurs think Crouch would be the target, but the number of giants in their side meant that anyone could have got on the end of it and it was Robert Huth who got a header to the ball as it came in, but he only succeeded in putting it over the top. Crouch won a far post header from Etherington's cross just after the half hour, but his knock down was cleared.
Tottenham were keeping the ball well, making a good chance for Sandro to have a shot in the 42nd minute, but it was an easy save for Sorensen. Then Pav sent in a cross that Tom Carroll fired over the bar on the volley, although the young midfielder had an impressive game, moving and passing well. Right at the end of the half, Etherington tried a 30 yard drive that had Gomes scampering to dive to save, but the ball didn't seem to be going in anyway.
Three minutes into the second half, a corner was worked out to Jake Livermore, who curled in a low shot that had Sorensen worried, but it went wide of the target, before a long passage of Spurs passing ended with Pavlyuchenko being presented with a chance to shoot from outside the box and it forced the Stoke keeper to push the effort over the crossbar. With 56 minutes gone, Spurs won a free-kick on the edge of the Stoke box, with Giovani and Sandro creating an opening for van der Vaart, who was brought down. He got up to take the free-kick and kept it low, but dragged it wide of the right of the goal.
Gomes' lack of match play and with Harry playing him in a game where he was going to get an aerial bombardment was not a recipe for success and when the Brazilian came for a cross and flapped at it, Sandro had to be on hand to prevent Crouch reaching it and then Gomes recovered to punch the ball away and when the former Spurs striker failed to get a good head on Etherington's cross, the ball slipped away wide, when he could have troubled Gomes more.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Stoke pushed on for a goal and Kaboul somehow smuggled the ball away from in front of his own goal when it looked like he might have had to turn it in. But despite a couple more crosses coming into the box, there was little for Spurs to worry about. In fact, to say chances were at a premium would have made an insurance man blush.
So, no goal sand extra time for a late night in the Potteries. A first period shot by Huth through a sea of players was seen late by Gomes, who beat it out and reacted quickly enough to stop Crouch's effort on the rebound. Pav shot wide after good work from substitute and debutant Massimo Luongo, but the Russian looked less than interested most of the time and even when Defoe came on, Pav kept trying to shoot from anywhere. but ended up with his shots going anywhere.
Spurs were nearly caught out in the 105th minute, when Etherington took a quick free-kick, passing straight in front of him to substitute Walters, who was one on one with Gomes, but took his shot early and missed the goal. It was an opportunity he should really have scored with.
Just after the restart, Tom Carroll curled a shot from just inside of the penalty area narrowly wide, with Sorensen hurrying to cover it and it was only in the final minute that another chance arose, with Etherington making a long run, but finishing with a shot that went very high over the bar.
So a penalty shoot-out and only one outcome was on the cards. Spurs have enough trouble scoring them in matches, let alone as a shoot-out. Things looked good when Jermaine Pennant struck the crossbar with his shot - Stoke's second, but then Pav out-done him, by skying the penalty so high, it would not have looked out of place on the end of Johnny Wilkinson's boot.
Anyway, surprisingly, the rest of the penalties were scored and it was 7-6 when young sub Luongo stepped up with the pressure on to score to keep the shoot-out going. More senior players had not taken penaltied at this point and the youngster will be gutted that it was his penalty that was saved to Sorensen's right that won the game for City. However, he shouldn't worry, as better Spurs players have bottled it and not taken penalties or have missed them in shoot-outs.
So, a second season being knocked out of the competition at this stage and will Harry be too concerned ? He will make the right noises, then go on about the punishing schedule and the need to make sure players are fresh for Wigan Athletic on Saturday. There were good run-outs for Sandro and van der Vaart, while the youngsters did OK again, but for Gomes, who only looked likely to play in the League Cup ties, that might be the last we see of him.
Some will say we won't miss him too much, but with Button seen at the Spurs ground last Sunday in a piece of engineering that was keeping his arm supported, you can't imagine he will be fit soon, Alnwick is on loan at Orient and that leaves Cudicini and Friedel. Not sure who the number three goalie is these days, but when hwe have so many, it needs to be sorted out and better to have a player pushing for an international place than one who can't get a game in the Spurs XI.
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Other scores in this round :|
|Aston Villa||0||Bolton Wanderers||2||Tuesday|
|Blackburn Rovers||3||Leyton Orient||2||Tuesday|
|Everton (a.e.t.)||2||West Bromwich Albion||1||Wednesday|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Liverpool||2||Wednesday|
|Manchester City||2||Birmingham City||0||Wednesday|
|Leeds United||0||Manchester United||3||Tuesday|
|Nottingham Forest||3||Newcastle United (a.e.t 2-2 at 90 mins)||4||Tuesday|
|Cardiff City (win 7-6 on pens; a.e.t 2-2 at 90 mins)||2||Leicester City||2||Wednesday|
|Chelsea (win 4-3 on pens; a.e.t 0-0 at 90 mins)||0||Fulham||0||Wednesday|
|Southampton||2||Preston North End||1||Wednesday|
Back to homepage