Swans v Spurs: The big talking points

16th March 2018

​​​​​​​Swansea City look to book a trip to Wembley this weekend when they take on Tottenham Hotspur.

Here are all the key talking points heading into the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final.

 

History boys?

Having seen off Wolves, Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday so far in the competition, the Swans are in the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time since 1963-64.

The question now is whether they can turn what has been an enjoyable run into something special.

Spurs are sure to provide the biggest test yet as the Swans look to make it to the last four for only the third time in their history.

The Swans were a second-tier club when they last got this far, but stunned Liverpool at Anfield to reach the semi-final.

The club have never got as far as the FA Cup final but, as Carlos Carvalhal says, now is the time to dream.

 

Tottenham torment

If the Swans are to remain in the cup beyond this weekend, they will have to do something they have not done very often and get the better of Tottenham.

In 14 Premier League meetings between the clubs, after all, the Swans have not registered a single victory.

Spurs are the only one of the top sides the Swans have failed to beat since arriving in the top flight back in 2011, with their last league win over the North Londoners coming in 1982. 

The two clubs' most recent encounter in the league was a couple of months back, when Fernando Llorente scored a controversial goal to help inflict Carvalhal's one home defeat to date as Swans manager.

The Swans’ cup record against Spurs does offer some hope.

There was a League Cup triumph at the Vetch in 1991 – although the Swans were knocked out after being thrashed in the second leg – as well as a memorable replay success at White Hart Lane in 1979.

 

No more replays

Drawn away from home in each of their first three rounds in this cup run, the Swans progressed from each stage courtesy of replay victories at the Liberty, including that romp against Notts County.

But there will be no second meeting with Spurs, for there are no replays from this point onwards in the FA Cup.

If the scores are level at full time tomorrow, there will be an extra 30 minutes.

And if there is still no winner, the Swans will face a first penalty shootout since they were knocked out of the Football League Trophy at MK Dons a decade ago.

 

Change of approach?

Carvalhal has said from the outset that the FA Cup has been very much a secondary competition for the Swans given the need to focus on preserving Premier League status.

The fight to stay up continues, but Carvalhal has hinted that he may field a stronger side this weekend than he has in previous cup matches.

In all six cup outings before now, the Portuguese has made major changes.

But with the business end of the competition in sight, will Carvalhal alter his approach?

 

No Ayews

To some extent, Carvalhal’s hands are tied when it comes to selecting his team to face Tottenham.

Sadly, top scorer Jordan Ayew is suspended after his red card at Huddersfield last weekend, while brother Andre is cup-tied.

Andy King, another player who has done well of late, is also unavailable having turned out for Leicester in this season’s competition.

Hence some changes are inevitable, with the likes of Nathan Dyer, Tammy Abraham and Tottenham old boy Tom Carroll on standby for recalls to the starting side.

 

No Kane either

The Swans may be without two key attacking threats in the shape of the Ayew brothers, but Spurs also have a problem up front.

Star striker Harry Kane will not feature having picked up an ankle injury at Bournemouth last weekend, meaning Llorente could come into contention for a start against his former club.

Like Carvalhal, Mauricio Pochettino has used the cup to rotate his squad this season.

But after Spurs’ Champions League hopes were ended by Juventus last week, will Pochettino now take this competition more seriously?

 

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