Five reasons why the U's could cause a major Cup upset at expense of Tottenham
PUBLISHED: 15:15 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 23 September 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
The odds will obviously be stacked against Colchester United upsetting the applecart and knocking out Tottenham, during tomorrow night's sell-out Carabao EFL Cup third round tie.
But it is not beyond the realms of possibility, and here are five reasons why John McGreal's League Two outfit could pull off a major shock.
No.1: Bang in form
The U's are on the up, after recording back-to-back league victories.
Southend United loanee Theo Robinson's brace helped them to an eye-catching 3-0 win at Swindon Town last Tuesday night, while early goals from teenager Kwame Poku and Ryan Jackson paved the way for a 2-1 home win over Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Just one defeat in their last nine matches, in all competitions, speaks volumes.
No.2: Vulnerable Spurs
There might not be any great time to face Premier League giants Tottenham, but now is as good as any, following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Leicester City.
Mauricio Pochettino's side are showing signs of vulnerability, as reflected in their last three away matches - they led at half-time in those three away games, at Arsenal, Olympiakos (Champions League) and Leicester, but failed to hold onto their lead on each occasion.
Certainly, they are struggling to come close to matching the highs of last season, in terms of results and performance - they reached the Champions League Final last season.
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No.3: Starting XIs
While the U's are set to field a strong starting line-up, Pochettino is poised to ring the changes, which could disrupt his team, especially as many of those coming in will have had precious little action this season.
Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Juan Foyth, Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott and Ryan Sessegnon could all feature for the Londoners.
Dier is yet to play at all this season - the England international was an unused substitute at Leicester - while under-23 striker Parrott and recent signing Sessegnon could make their debuts.
In short, an unfamiliar Spurs line-up could mean a disjointed display.
No.4: Nothing to lose
The U's, who before this season had not won a League Cup first round tie for seven years, are the underdogs and not expected to reach the fourth round.
That means the pressure will be off them, and they have already proved a dangerous animal in such a situation, as the second round win (5-4 on penalties) at Premier League Crystal Palace confirmed.
No.5: Poor on the road
Tottenham, despite finishing in the top four last season, have one of the poorest away records in the Premier League.
In fact, they have not won on the road in the league since January (seven defeats and two draws in their last nine away league fixtures), and a sell-out crowd at the JobServe Community Stadium will try and make it as uncomfortable as possible for them.