Dele Alli not expected to start for Tottenham against Chelsea despite promise of Carabao Cup changes

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
The England international was hooked after an hour midweek: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I
The England international was hooked after an hour midweek: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

Dele Alli is not expected to start for Tottenham tonight, despite manager Jose Mourinho promising to ring the changes for the Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea.

Alli has been left out of the squad for three of the past four matches and was hauled off after an hour of the Europa League win over Shkendija in North Macedonia last week.

Mourinho is adamant the 24-year-old will not leave Spurs before Monday’s transfer deadline and has challenged him to prove himself, but Alli is not expected to start this evening’s fourth-round tie and could even be omitted from the 18-man squad again.

Japhet Tanganga is in contention for the first time this season, after returning to training following a thigh injury, while Sergio Reguilon, the £25million signing from Real Madrid, could be handed a debut at left-back. Spurs will be without Heung-min Son, who suffered a hamstring injury against Newcastle on Sunday.

Mourinho has claimed he “cannot fight” for the Carabao Cup because he must prioritise Thursday’s potentially lucrative Europa League play-off against Maccabi Haifa and the Portuguese is set to make wholesale changes to the side which drew 1-1 against Newcastle, with Joe Hart, Tanguy Ndombele, Toby Alderweireld, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn also in contention to start. Mourinho’s biggest decision will be over Harry Kane, who remains Spurs’s only recognised centre-forward.

Frank Lampard is ready to hand new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy his Chelsea debut, following his £22m move from Rennes last week.

Ben Chilwell could make his first Chelsea start and Callum Hudson-Odoi is likely to get another opportunity to impress after doing well off the bench to help the Blues rescue a 3-3 draw at West Brom on Saturday.

Kai Havertz is in line for another start and Lampard admits he has been forced to throw the £70m German straight into the cut and thrust of English football because of injuries to Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.

“It has been difficult for him, because he came here without any training really and I have had to throw him in,” said Lampard.

Spurs were this morning waiting to discover if goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos will be charged by the FA, having been sent off after the final whistle on Sunday. If he is charged, Santos could be hit with a touchline or stadium ban.

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Mourinho: Stretched Spurs can't compete against Chelsea in Carabao Cup