Tottenham Hotspur needed replays to beat both Rochdale and Newport County in the last two rounds of the competition but will believe that they can knock Swansea City out at the first time of asking.
Swansea, currently placed 14th in the league table, are fresh from a 0-0 draw against the Terriers and beat Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County in a similar fashion in the last two rounds of the FA Cup. They have found some form recently and have every reason to believe that they can beat Spurs, especially playing at Liberty Stadium. But this is the only route to silverware for Pochettino, who is expected to field his strongest XI. Here is the predicted lineup Spurs might play for this game:
Harry Kane is currently the only player ruled out of this game for Spurs. Ben Davies, Danny Rose and Dele Alli are all suffering from knocks but are expected to be fit for this game while Toby Alderweireld is also back in training but might not be risked. With the international break coming up next week, Pochettino is not expected to rest any of his star players for this crunch tie.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Though Michel Vorm has been preferred in the FA Cup, we expect Hugo Lloris to start under the bar in this tie, to give Spurs a better chance of knocking Swansea out of the competition. With Alderweireld still not completely fit, the pairing of Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen, that has worked well till date, is expected to retain its place at the heart of the backline for Spurs.
Danny Rose, who started that Bournemouth game, might be replaced by Ben Davies at left-back while Kieran Trippier might retain his place at right back.
Mousa Dembele is critical to Spurs’ chances in this competition and the Belgian should start in the midfield alongside Eric Dier, who was an unused substitute at Vitality last weekend.
With Harry Kane absent, Fernando Llorente is the only option to lead the line for Spurs but Pochettino might stick with the in-form Heung Min-Son as a false-9 for this clash. Dele Alli will retain his place in the no.10 role while Christian Eriksen is expected to start on the right side of the attack.
Former PSG man Lucas Moura will get a chance to impress on the left flank in the attack.
Here is how they might line up: