Swans v Spurs: The big talking points

1st January 2018
First team

Swansea City go in search of the one major scalp which has eluded them throughout the Premier League era when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night.

Here are all the main talking points heading into the big game.

 

Carlos the Jack

The Tottenham game makes the beginning of a new era, as Carlos Carvalhal gets set to lead the Swans at the Liberty Stadium for the first time.

The Portuguese’s first match as Swans boss ended in a dramatic late victory over Watford.

Now comes the chance to manage in SA1 for the first time, and Carvalhal will be desperate to make a positive first impression on the Liberty crowd after that last-gasp success at Vicarage Road.

His first home fixture could have been gentler, but then Carvalhal told his players in his opening team meeting last week that they must relish the challenge of facing heavyweight sides such as Spurs.

Fernando to feature?

Harry Kane has been struggling with illness in the last few days, with some suggestions that he could be a doubt for Tottenham’s trip to Wales.

Should the England man miss out, the Swans will not be complaining.

After all, Kane enjoyed a sensational 2017, scoring a record 39 Premier League goals in the calendar year and 56 in total.

If Kane does miss out, it could be the Fernando Llorente gets a rare starting chance as he returns to his former club.

Having been an influential performer for the Swans last season, Llorente has struggled to make an impact at Spurs.

Carvalhal and Co will hope it is the same story as he heads back to Landore.

Tottenham torment

The Swans have beaten all the big boys during their six-and-a-half seasons as a Premier League club – apart from one.

In 13 meetings with Tottenham since promotion to the top flight in 2011, there has not been a single Swans victory.

The best the Liberty club have managed is three draws. The first came courtesy of a late Scott Sinclair goal back in 2011, while Andre Ayew was on target in a 2-2 draw back in 2015.

The most recent point gained came this season, courtesy of a battling goalless draw at Wembley in September.

Can the Swans follow that result with a long-awaited win against Spurs?

It would be quite something for Carvalhal if they did.

Fit to play?

Wilfried Bony has missed the majority of the festive schedule with the hamstring injury he suffered in the opening minutes at Everton a week before Christmas.

He was back on the grass last week, and it would be a huge bonus should he be declared fit to play some part against Spurs.

The same goes for Ki Sung-Yueng, who has missed the last four games with a calf problem.

Carvalhal would love to have the duo back involved as the Swans target a famous result, while he also has fingers crossed over Tammy Abraham after he came off early at Watford.

The Swans boss is definitely without Leon Britton (calf) and the suspended Kyle Naughton.

Solid Spurs

Tottenham may not be going quite as well in the Premier League as they did last season, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.

The only teams to have beaten them in the top flight this term are Chelsea, Arsenal, the two Manchester clubs and Leicester.

They have enjoyed thumping wins over the likes of Southampton, Burnley and Stoke in recent weeks and have plenty of firepower with which to trouble the Swans.

Carvalhal’s new team will have to put in a huge shift if they are to trouble Mauricio Pochettino’s team tomorrow night.