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- There will have been mixed emotions within the Tottenham camp following Sunday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Liverpool – a game Antonio Conte‘s side arguably should have won on the balance of chances.
Harry Kane scored one but also squandered a string of other openings, while Dele Alli and Son Heung-min – the latter of whom ultimately got the goal which earned Spurs a point – were also guilty of failing to put their title-chasing visitors to the sword.
Nevertheless, the overall signs of progress under Conte were promising, and having seen one serial trophy-winner in Jose Mourinho fail to bring silverware back to North London during his tenure, Tottenham will be hoping that another in Conte has better fortune.
Spurs remain without a major trophy since last winning the League Cup in 2008, and they saw another prospect of silverware evaporate on Monday as UEFA effectively threw them out of the European Conference League by ruling that they had forfeited their match against Rennes.
The EFL Cup again represents Tottenham’s best chance of ending their 14-year trophy drought, and there is no doubt that they would have earned their place in the semi-final if they get there, having faced Premier League opposition all of the way so far.
Tottenham sprung a few surprises in their matchday squad for the Liverpool game, with Son, Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp all included despite reports that they would miss out due to coronavirus.
Instead, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was the only absentee from the normal side, but Conte has now confirmed that all of his players have tested negative.
However, the Italian did hint that some were still not fully recovered after contracting the virus, meaning that they may not be quite at full strength for this match.
Cristian Romero will not feature again this year due to a thigh injury, while Ryan Sessegnon picked up a knock against Liverpool, but all in all Spurs have a relatively clean bill of health compared to many Premier League clubs at the moment.
Nonetheless, the decision to press ahead with the Premier League’s festive fixture schedule means that the EFL Cup quarter-finalists are likely to rotate their teams heavily, with Spurs in the midst of four games in the space of 10 days.
There could be starts for fringe players such as Joe Rodon, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas, while Harry Winks could keep his place after impressing against Liverpool.
Conte could opt to start Kane up front once again, though, with the England captain having finally scored his first home league goal of the season at the weekend.
West Ham will be without the suspended Vladimir Coufal following his controversial red card against Arsenal last time out, creating a shortage for Moyes at right-back with Ryan Fredericks and Ben Johnson also sidelined through injury.
Craig Dawson has played that position in the past and could be shifted out there to cover, while 20-year-old Harrison Ashby provides another option having made his Premier League debut against Arsenal.
West Ham’s defensive shortage is not just limited to right-back either, with Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna also sidelined, while the match could come just too soon for Aaron Cresswell to start.
Like his opposite number, Moyes is likely to use the game to hand minutes to some fringe players, including Manuel Lanzini, who has had a direct hand in five goals from his last six EFL Cup appearances.
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Andriy Yarmolenko and Nikola Vlasic could also come into an attack which has failed to score in their last three games, while captain Mark Noble may start in midfield.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Sanchez, Rodon, Davies; Tanganga, Winks, Skipp, Ndombele, Reguilon; Bergwijn, Kane
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Ashby, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku; Kral, Noble; Vlasic, Lanzini, Fornals; Yarmolenko