MX23RW : Tuesday, April 23 10:42:37| >> :600:8738740:8738740:
Jan 8, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Wembley Stadium (London)
Attendance: 44,371
SpursTottenham Hotspur
1-0
Chelsea
Kane (26' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Combined XI: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea

Ahead of Tuesday's EFL Cup semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, Sports Mole selects a strongest combined XI from the two squads.

Tottenham Hotspur play host to Chelsea in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals on Tuesday evening looking to move closer to lifting their first trophy since 2008.

Mauricio Pochettino has been frequently praised for the job which he has done at the North London outfit, but the Argentine remains tasked with ending the club's lengthy period without any silverware.

Pochettino's opposite number Maurizio Sarri finds himself in a similar position having never won a trophy as the senior man in the dugout, and it leaves the duo eager to earn a place against either Manchester City or Burton Albion in February's final.

Here, Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from both squads, using only players available for Tuesday's match.



Combined XI: TOT vs. CHE

Neither Hugo Lloris nor Kepa Arrizabalaga have been totally convincing between the sticks this season, but we are siding with the young Spaniard at Chelsea. The 24-year-old is under pressure to justify a huge transfer fee and seven-year contract, but the former Athletic Bilbao stopper has conceded just 17 times in 27 appearances.

Kieran Trippier has failed to build on his fine World Cup campaign with England, so Cesar Azpilicueta gets the nod with us at right-back. Neither Ben Davies nor Marcos Alonso have been particularly impressive on the opposite side of the backline, but with Chelsea supporters starting to call for Emerson Palmieri to be given a chance in the top flight, Davies edges out the Spaniard.

There have been question marks raised over the performances of both Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz in the centre of Chelsea's defence, but we cannot ignore the fact that the West Londoners have shipped just 16 goals in 21 Premier League outings so we are picking the latter to partner Toby Alderweireld. Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez have both spent time out of the Spurs team, so Alderweireld is the logical selection alongside Chelsea's flamboyant Brazilian.

N'Golo Kante has been used in a more advanced position by Sarri this season, but with Spurs missing Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama, we feel inclined to start the ball-winner as our holding midfielder. That would give Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli licence to take on more creative roles either side of Kante, with the pair having impressed in recent weeks.

Both teams are stacked with players who can play on the flanks, but our selection dilemma is helped with Willian, Pedro and Erik Lamela all being regarded as doubts for Tuesday's game.

Eden Hazard is an obvious pick with 10 goals and nine assists coming from 20 appearances in the Premier League during the current campaign, and Son Heung-min has played himself into the team with a remarkable return of eight goals and five assists from just six outings in all competitions.

The selection for the head of the attack is equally simple. Alvaro Morata netted twice for Chelsea against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, but Harry Kane naturally gets our vote. The England skipper has contributed a goal or assist in each of his last eight appearances in all competitions and has netted 19 times in total this season.

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Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on December 29, 2018
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How Spurs could line up against Chelsea
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal34206868432566
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Everton35147145044649
8Watford34147134949049
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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