Another tantalising match has been thrown together for the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup, with Tottenham being drawn against local rivals West Ham United.
The draw, funnily enough, was made before Tottenham's game against Hull City had even finished. After a 1-1 draw through 90 minutes the game went to extra time. Paul McShane nodded Hull in front on 99 minutes, but Harry Kane equalised nine minutes later to send the game to penalties. Tottenham won their first shootout in eight attempts after Elmohamady missed a sudden death spot kick to grant Spurs an 8-7 win on penalties.
It was not a convincing performance by Tottenham at home yet again, despite a marked improvement in the atmosphere following Andre Villas-Boas' comments. Brad Friedel was at fault for Hull's opening goal and, when you looked at the team sheets, there was a clear difference in class between the two teams. The hosts had the likes of Jermain Defoe, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen at their disposal. Hull, on the other hand, had most of their handy work come through George Boyd, Aaron McLean and Curtis Davies.
In contrast, the Hammers made a tough draw away to Championship leaders Burnley seem like a bit of a breeze. Despite Burnley having the better of the first half, they never really threatened throughout the match aside from two or three decent shots on goal. Danny Ings, Junior Stanislas and Kieran Trippier were unable to get past Adrian and two penalties handed Sam Allardyce's men tickets to the quarter finals.
The win kept up West Ham's impressive away record, they have kept five clean sheets in their past six away games, the only goal scored against them was a dubious Robbie Brady penalty at Hull.
The east Londoners will also take heart from their impressive 3-0 win at White Hart Lane earlier in the season, and so a great cup tie is in prospect for the neutral. Andy Carroll will also be back from suspension, bolstering the options that Allardyce has to choose from in what (arguably) could be one of the biggest matches in West Ham's season.
Silverware could be there for the taking for both teams if other results go their way. Obviously Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are big threats, but all three teams face difficult away ties that certainly will not be a walk in the park. We have seen countless times in football that cup upsets are common, and West Ham fans will be no strangers to that. The last time that they reached the quarter finals, they stunned United 4-0 at Upton Park- Jonathan Spector and Carlton Cole hit braces to set up a semi-final tie with eventual winners Birmingham.
With that being said, however, many will be expecting a Tottenham victory. Their strength in depth and quality of players available are very strong factors behind their decent league start, and it is unlikely we will see a repeat of the earlier Premier League fixture. One thing can be for sure though, the atmosphere at the game will be very intense, and we should be in for a thrilling game.
The Carling Cup quarter-final games:
Sunderland/Southampton vs. Chelsea
Leicester vs. Man City
Tottenham vs. West Ham
Stoke vs. Manchester United
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