Mauricio Pochettino is planning to ring the changes for Tottenham’s Carabao Cup fourth-round clash with West Ham on Wednesday, but says Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli may play.
Spurs will go to the London Stadium 48 hours after losing 1-0 to Manchester City in the Premier League on a difficult Wembley pitch, but Pochettino says there are no complaints about the schedule and there will be no excuses.
“I am happy because to change the feeling it is good to play on Wednesday,” Pochettino said. “We are going to use players that have not been involved in the last few games.
“We are going to have the opportunity to see them and to give them the opportunity to play.
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“It will be very competitive, it’s a derby and no excuses, no complaints. On Wednesday we will go again to try to compete and to try to win.”
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Alli, who signed a new five-and-a-half year contract at Tottenham, returned as a substitute at Wembley having missed more than a month with a hamstring problem.
“If he feels well maybe he will be available to play from the beginning but we’ll see maybe an hour or 70 minutes,” said Pochettino.
“We need to assess him every day to see if he is consistent in training and then try to play him more and more in every game.”
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini says his side are taking the Carabao Cup seriously this season.
The Hammers host Tottenham just 11 days after the two London clubs met in the Premier League – where Spurs ran out 1-0 winners.
“As I have said previously, the Carabao Cup is a major competition that we take very seriously,” Pellegrini said. “And we have been on the training pitch since Sunday preparing our work and focusing on what we need to do to come out on top.”
Tottenham could play Alli and Eriksen, who have both missed the last few weeks through injuries but made cameo appearances from the bench against Manchester City on Monday night.
Kyle Walker-Peters could get his chance to impress albeit in an unfamiliar left-back role with Danny Rose still sidelined.
Fellow youngsters Oliver Skipp and Troy Parrott are on the fringe of the first-team squad and may be included on the bench.
Pellegrini does have some selection concerns, though, as skipper Mark Noble begins a three-match ban for his red card at Leicester on Saturday.
Marko Arnautovic is unlikely to feature due to an illness while Andy Carroll, Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez and Manuel Lanzini are still sidelined, along with Jack Wilshere (ankle).
This is the second consecutive season West Ham and Tottenham have met in the League Cup fourth round – last season, West Ham came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Wembley and eliminate Spurs.
West Ham have eliminated Tottenham on the last two occasions they’ve met in the League Cup, doing so last season and in the quarter-final in 2013-14.
West Ham are looking to qualify for the League Cup quarter-final for a third consecutive season for the first time in their history.
Since beating Chelsea in the 2008 final, Spurs have lost their last five London derbies in the League Cup (two defeats against Arsenal, one against Chelsea, two against West Ham).
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has won seven of his eight home League Cup matches (L1) – he’s seen his side score 38 goals in those games, winning by at least five goals on four occasions.
Spurs have won two of their last 13 League Cup matches against fellow Premier League opposition (D3 L8).
Playing on Monday night forces Mauricio Pochettino’s hand here as he’ll have to make big changes and give the youngsters a run out because the squad just isn’t big enough. It’s a tough one for him now as even winning this competition won’t really prove anything as he’s lifted Spurs to challenging for the title and playing in the Champions League.
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