Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs’s longing for a trophy is well documented. The Merseyside club last lifted the FA Cup in 1995, which is their last trophy success, while Spurs are without a trophy since their 2008 League Cup triumph - they last won the FA Cup in 1991.
It is against that backdrop that the sides meet at Goodison Park in the fifth round of this season’s FA Cup. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have advanced past Championship sides Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday in the third and fourth rounds, which have both been played at home. Spurs have beaten non-league Marine and Championship strugglers Wycombe Wanderers, both of their ties have been away.
So in their third successive home match in this competition Everton will hope to reach the quarter finals at the expense of Jose Mourinho’s side. Both teams have experienced periods of patchy form this season with consistency at times lacking and both sides are particularly adept at keeping a defending as a unit before unleashing a counter-attack.
Everton are in better shape at the moment having lost just once in their last seven games across all competitions. Their clinching of a late draw against Manchester United on Saturday, after already levelling from two goals down, demonstrated the character that Ancelotti is trying to instil in his charges.
It was against Spurs on the opening weekend of the season that Everton began their impressive start to the campaign by going eight games without loss. The style of that slender 1-0 victory has also carried through Everton’s campaign as eight of their 11 wins in the league have come by a single goal.
Tottenham arrested a run of three straight defeats by defeating West Bromwich Albion at the weekend in what was their best performance for some weeks. It coincided with the return of Harry Kane to the team and he got on the scoresheet before setting up Heung-min Son for his first goal in six appearances.
Spurs have blew hot and cold throughout the season and losing this tie against Everton will only add to the questions around the current style and substance of Mourinho’s side. They have already booked their place in this season’s League Cup final, against Manchester City, but Everton will be just as determined to take a step towards ending their own trophy drought.
Robin Olsen is likely to remain in goal for Everton having played the past two Premier League games due to Jordan Pickford’s rib injury. Ancelotti confirmed that Pickford, along with James Rodriguez, will face late fitness tests to determine whether they can be involved.
Allan remains Everton’s only other notable absentee but Ancelotti will likely make a few changes to his lineup. However, Josh King will have to wait a little longer for his first start for the club having joined from Bournemouth on deadline day as he is cup-tied.
Spurs are still without Sergio Reguilon and Gio Lo Celso who are both recovering from injuries while Dele Alli could be fit enough to be on the bench. Kane made his surprise return after 10 days on the sidelines with an ankle injury in the league match against West Brom at the weekend although it is unlikely that he will start at Goodison Park.
Mourinho could give starts to Joe Rodon in central defence, Harry Winks in midfield, and Gareth Bale in attack. Carlos Vinicius scored a hat-trick in the third round and will most likely lead the line in search of more FA Cup goals.
Everton: Olsen; Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Holgate; Delph, Bernard, Iwobi; James, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Tottenham: Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Rodon, Davies; Winks, Hojbjerg; Son, Bergwijn, Bale; Vinicius.
When & where to watch
The game takes place at 8.15pm on Wednesday evening at Goodison Park. It is available to be viewed on BT Sport in the UK.
The game is also available on the radio via BBC 5 Live and, of course, you can follow the action right here on VAVEL UK.