Spurs, Everton seek revival

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur and Everton will both be hoping to reignite their stuttering seasons when the English top-flight duo meet in the fourth round of the League Cup on Tuesday.

Spurs started the campaign in electrifying form but a 1-0 home defeat against Stoke on Saturday has tempered dreams of a top four finish and increased the importance of the League Cup. Everton’s injury-ravaged squad were humiliated in Portugal in last week’s Europa League fixture, going down 5-0 to Benfica, and then were cruelly beaten late on by Bolton in a five-goal encounter in the league on Sunday.

Everton manager David Moyes will see the League Cup as his team’s best chance of silverware this season. Last year’s FA Cup finalists have had their small squad hugely exposed by injury with Moyes critical of his team’s defence.

Long-term casualties Phil Jagielka, Spanish playmaker Mikel Arteta and striker Yakubu have now been joined on the treatment table by defenders Leighton Baines and Joseph Yobo and midfielder Steven Pienaar.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp will also be hopeful of another trip to Wembley in a competition which has proved kind to the Londoners in recent years. The Lillywhites have won the trophy four times, most recently under the stewardship of Juande Ramos in 2008 when they beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final. They advanced to the

final last season but were beaten on penalties by Manchester United.

Redknapp will hope to have the services of tricky winger Aaron Lennon at his disposal despite the England man taking himself off against Stoke, defying the wishes of his manager. Redknapp’s team struggled to break down a resilient Stoke side in the absence of in-form striker Jermain Defoe, suspended after his sending-off against Portsmouth.

The livewire striker will be available in Tuesday’s match but Redknapp will still be without midfielder Luka Modric, who has a fractured leg.