Expectancy

What do we expect? A backlash after our cup exit? Hardly relevant to matters of the league, as disappointing as it was to lose the tie so late on in the evening. Opponents should always feel like they're facing a backlash when visiting. Doesn't always play out that way. Today, at White Hart Lane, we await that elusive target of complete game domination. Bossing the tempo, pulling the strings in midfield and attacking with relentless energy down the flanks. Whether we're capable of doing so is the reason we tune in and turn up every other week in hope. We're better away from home, more shape and far clearer ploys in how we approach it. At home, it remains less vibrant, more laboured.

That's not to say we haven't performed. We just haven't done so with supreme belief. Wigan will do what they have to do to win. They might sit back and defend or they might seek out a more offensive formation. For us, a win is important. The manner in which we achieve it is equally vital. Not imperative, I'm sure we'll be happy with a 1-0 or 2-1 but at some point we have to find that extra step and spark in our game and start to form into a side that can continue to look up rather than worry about what happens below.

first 11: Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale, Dempsey & Defoe.

bench: Lloris, Dawson, Naughton, Carroll, Falque, Sigurdsson and Adebayor.

COYS