MX23RW : Thursday, September 26 22:00:43| >> :600:269433:269433:
Sep 24, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Colchester Community Stadium
Attendance: 9,481
ColchesterColchester United
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Colchester win 4-3 on penalties

Preview: Colchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Colchester United's meeting with Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup third round on Tuesday.

Colchester United have the opportunity to pile further misery on Tottenham Hotspur by causing a shock against Mauricio Pochettino's side in the EFL Cup third round on Tuesday.

The North London side find themselves under fresh scrutiny after throwing away a two-goal lead against Olympiacos ahead of losing 2-1 to Leicester City over the weekend.

A young, new-look outfit will have the chance to return Spurs to winning ways against the League Two side at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Match preview

Jamie Vardy celebrates Ricardo Pereira's goal for Leicester City against Tottenham Hotspur on September 21, 2019.© Reuters

Saturday's setback against Leicester must have added to the feeling at Spurs that, following a dreamlike 2018-19 campaign, the gods of football are conspiring against last season's Champions League finalists.

The intervention of VAR at the King Power Stadium saw Spurs go from a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead to losing the game 2-1, their second defeat of the season and a collapse which fell in line with how the Premier League side let go of 2-0 advantages during visits to both Arsenal and Olympiacos in recent weeks.

Indeed, for whatever reason, Spurs have encountered something of a mental block when playing games away from their new home stadium, with Pochettino's side now without an away win in nine games - their worst run since 2006.

On a broader scale, perhaps there is a case for suggesting that Spurs, following five years of impressive development under the close tutelage of Pochettino, now find themselves on a downward curve, their route to the Champions League final in Madrid an indicator of the fact that the Argentine has squeezed all that he can out of the limited resources at his disposal.

Spurs continue to carry an impressive cut and thrust about their play, and should still reach the top four, but the way this team has capitulated on several occasions this term potentially indicates that both players and manager have hit a mental wall of sorts following the season of their lives last year.

It is this notion, combined with Spurs' poor away record and the multitude of youngsters who are likely to play, which will give confidence to a Colchester side with nothing to lose in front of its home supporters.

Colchester United's Ryan Jackson celebrates at the end of the match on August 27, 2019© Reuters

However, if history is anything to go by, the odds are heavily stacked against the League Two outfit, who are playing in the EFL Cup third round for the first time since 2004 and have not gone beyond that stage since the 1974-75 season, during which The U's lost in the quarter-final to Aston Villa, who went on to win the competition.

Colchester have never played Spurs in this competition but did come up against Pochettino's men in the FA Cup three years ago, losing 4-1 in an FA Cup fourth round tie which was a tighter contest than the scoreline suggests, with the home side holding Spurs at 1-0 until the 78th minute.

For any successful giant killing, this kind of resistance, usually manifested by two organised banks of four, must be the first thing which is successfully carried out for a whole 90 minutes, which means that the role of centre back and captain Luke Prosser is especially important.

If the 31-year-old, who actually played for Spurs at youth level, can marshall his back line to the extent that Spurs start to get jittery and try to force the issue, then a platform can be laid for his attackers to snatch a goal on the counter.

Most will expect an easy Spurs win, but the club's recent away form, combined with a general sense of frailty surrounding Pochettino's side at the moment, means that a shock is firmly on the cards.

Recent Colchester United form: WDLWW
Recent Tottenham Hotspur form: LDWDL

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur defender Juan Foyth is stretchered off during the Audi Cup final with Bayern Munich on July 31, 2019.© Reuters

Colchester boss John McGreal has the luxury of being able to call on a full list of options, with no players injured or suspended ahead of the game.

The home side are expected to more or less stick with the same lineup which was fielded against Leyton Orient over the weekend, although attacking duo Luke Norris and Paris Cowan-Hall could be handed starts after coming off the bench.

For Spurs, they are likely to be without club captain Hugo Lloris, who missed the Leicester defeat to be with his wife for the birth of their third child, and is not expected back until the weekend.

Pochettino will be keen to hand a start to Juan Foyth, who picked up an ankle problem in pre-season but should be fit enough to feature, while Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are the two players definitely ruled out.

Colchester United possible starting lineup:
Gerken; Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall; Lapslie, Comley; Senior, Nouble, Poku; Norris

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Walker-Peters, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Alli, Skipp; Eriksen, Moura, Lamela

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We say: Colchester United 0-3 Tottenham

Expect Colchester to provide some spirited resistance during the opening stages, but this Spurs side - even in a relatively insignificant game - will be determined to gain some much-needed confidence away from home.

With the experience they have on the bench, combined with several first-team players like Dele Alli who will want to prove themselves, expect a few goals from Pochettino's side.

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Who will win Tuesday's EFL Cup tie between Colchester United and Tottenham Hotspur?

Colchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
Colchester United
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Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris watches on against Newcastle on February 2, 2019
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