5 things to know about League Cup quarterfinals

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 16, 2013 at 8:37 am •  Published: December 16, 2013
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Tottenham begins life after Andre Villas-Boas with a League Cup quarterfinal match against West Ham on Wednesday, one of three all-Premier League matches in the last eight.

Spurs are likely to be without a permanent manager in the dugout for the game after Villas-Boas was fired on Monday, less than a day after a 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool in the league.

The big clubs were kept apart in the quarterfinals, with Manchester United visiting Stoke in Wednesday's other match. On Tuesday, Manchester City plays at Leicester, the only non-Premier League team remaining in the competition, and Chelsea travels to Sunderland.

Here are five things to know about the quarterfinals:

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NEW ERA

With Andre Villas-Boas gone, Tottenham's players will be out to impress a new manager — whoever he may be — in the match against West Ham.

Argentina forward Erik Lamela and Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen, two of Spurs' seven expensive signings in the offseason, are among the players to have seen little game time under Villas-Boas this campaign and will be hoping for a change in fortunes under a new coach. They didn't start the loss to Liverpool.

Whoever is in charge on Wednesday will want to shore up a defense that was repeatedly exposed against Liverpool and also in the 6-0 loss at Manchester City three weeks ago. Going forward has also been the problem this season for Spurs, who have scored only 15 goals in 15 league games this season.

West Ham has already beaten Tottenham once this season, winning 3-0 at White Hart Lane in October, but its form has been poor of late and the team is fourth from bottom in the Premier League.

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NOW'S YOUR CHANCE

The leading Premier League clubs usually use the League Cup to give their youth or fringe players a chance to impress. However, with the final in reach, will managers reverse this policy?

Chelsea fielded mostly reserve players in the 2-0 win at Arsenal in the last round and has the luxury of a deep squad from which to choose.

And given his side's current form, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini will likely be confident a second-string team will be good enough to see off Leicester — after all, City's reserves beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.

It could be a different story for Tottenham, though, which could play its strongest team as it looks to bounce back from the heavy loss to Liverpool.

And after its troubling start in the Premier League, maybe Man United will see the League Cup as its best chance of silverware this season and field Wayne Rooney and its other big names.



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