Tottenham Hotspur kicks off their third competition this season on Wednesday evening, with their second visit to Nottingham to take on Forest; here is how Spurs should line up.
Theoretically, the first cup tie should allow Premier League teams to rotate some players, that is in theory. In practice, this third round has seven all Premier League matches, including Spurs at Nottingham Forest. Thus, while Liverpool and West Ham can rotate against Derby and Blackburn, the top four are in all Premier League battles.
Spurs could consider rotating big anyway, with the top four in the Premier League to battle for and the knock-out rounds of the Champions League to come, but the Carabao Cup may be Spurs’ best chance at silverware. Further, if you listened to Antonio Conte‘s assist Cristian Stellini in the pre-match press conference, the goal is to field the best team and win the game.
With winning the match in mind, here are the 11 we think Conte will start.
Tottenham Forward Projections
Although Tottenham is starting to get some players back to the team from injury, neither Dejan Kulusevksi nor Richarlison is ready to play anything close to 90 minutes, so neither is likely to start, leaving Conte with still limited options at the beginning of the game.
Forward – Ivan Perisic
It is not his best position within the team, but Ivan Perisic showed he can serve as a serviceable forward against Liverpool and will again be deputized in the EFL Cup against Forest. Lucas Moura is still recovering from an injury himself, and Bryan Gil does not yet have Conte’s faith, making Perisic the logical choice as second-striker with Harry Kane.
Forward – Harry Kane
Richarlison would be starting and giving Kane much-needed rest in the perfect world. However, Richarlison is in recovery mode and will hopefully serve as a second-half substitute for Kane. Before then, Kane will need to lead the line and try to get Spurs a lead so that some rotation might be possible.