Everton at home wasn’t the kindest draw given our woeful recent record against them at White Hart Lane, but you’ve got to say that the circumstances might suit us.
Having played on Thursday and Sunday, David Moyes’ side have been given just a day’s rest before tonight’s game. Also their dressing room currently looks like the set of Holby City. Yakubu, Bilyaletdinov, Yobo and Baines are all doubts, with Arteta, Pienaar, Jagielka, Osman, Anichebe, Neville and Vaughan all definitely out.
We’re without a few regulars as well, although Harry hasn’t got quite as many headaches as Moyes. Defoe is suspended, Ledley is still ill, Woodgate has concussion and Kranjcar is cup tied. Then there’s the long term injuries to Modric and Dos Santos.
So there’s quite a few doubts in regards to what our team will be. Bentley will likely deputise for Lennon, but what about the left flank? Perhaps Bale will start there with Assou Ekotto behind him. In the centre of midfield, which two do we go with from Jenas, Huddlestone and Palacios? We might even catch a glimpse of Kyle Naughton.
In attack Harry has pretty much said that he will give Pavlyuchenko a game, so it’s just a question of whether he plays alongside Keane or Crouch. At a push, Keane might even end up on the left side of midfield.
The defence pretty much picks itself. Dawson and Bassong, with Assou Ekotto/Bale and probably Hutton over Corluka. Cudicini’s had plenty of football lately, so I’d expect Gomes to keep his place.
It’ll be far from a full strength side, but it should still be too much for an Everton team that will be look even more unfamiliar for the fact that they will be wearing purple shirts (nice). The only problem might be if Moyes decides to play for penalties and manages to frustrate us like Stoke did on Saturday.
There’s not much pace in our potential starting lineup, which is why I wouldn’t rule out Naughton making an appearance at some point. In pre-season he looked an able deputy for Aaron Lennon and combined well with Hutton.
It’s an especially big game for Messers Bentley and Pavlyuchenko. Both look like they will be gone as quickly as we can flog them. This could be one of their last chances to prove to Harry that he’d be wrong to let them leave.
Cautious prediction: 1-0 Spurs.