Pochettino targets silverware for Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino

Arsenal ended their own trophy drought last season by winning the FA Cup and North London rivals Tottenham are now closing in on their first silverware for seven years.

Mauricio Pochettino is in his first season in charge at White Hart Lane and must be satisfied with progress so far. His team are currently sixth in the Premier League table as well as competing in the Europa League, FA Cup and the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup. With a two-legged tie against League 1 side Sheffield United standing between them and a Wembley final, Paddy Power make Spurs only 5-2 to lift the trophy.

The danger for Tottenham must be complacency and they must give themselves some breathing space in the home leg on Wednesday evening. Sheffield United are proving to be Cup specialists under Nigel Clough, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup last season before losing 5-3 to Hull.

The Blades have accounted for high-flying Southampton and West Ham already in this competition, currently third and seventh respectively in the table. Last year, they saw off Aston Villa and QPR on their way to a Wembley semi-final and are relishes the prospect of another trip to the capital.

The Capital One Cup may not be high on the list of priorities for sides challenging for a Champions League spot but Pochettino knows the importance of putting some silverware in the trophy cabinet. Spurs last lifted a trophy in this competition in 2008 with a 2-1 win over Chelsea. They narrowly failed to retain the trophy when beaten on penalties by Manchester United the following season.

The Spurs coach has been afforded the luxury of being able to rotate his squad in beating Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle but is unlikely to take any chances here. They face Leicester in the FA Cup on Saturday but will surely start with top scorer Harry Kane in the line-up on Wednesday. He has scored in every round so far and it seems only a matter of time before he is called up to represent England.

The visitors welcome back centre-half Chris Basham after serving a three-match ban but will be without the injured James Wallace, Ben Davies and Ryan Flynn. Paddy Power make Sheffield United 8-1 to pull off a shock victory in the first leg with Tottenham red-hot favourites at 1-3. A Spurs victory with Harry Kane scoring is certain to be a popular bet at even money.

Harvey Mayson

Harvey Mayson is a professional sports writer and artist living in South West Scotland. He began working at his local newspaper in the south of England before going freelance to work on specialist sporting publications. He writes for a number of specialist sports sites both at home and abroad including football, horse racing and sports betting sites. He has also covered a wide range of sporting events such as the Paralympic Games, Euro 2012 and the Grand National. Harvey is also well known as an equestrian artist and can be contacted through his website.