Tottenham will play host to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that backup goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga will start in goal for Spurs.
Gazzaniga was previously Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper, behind Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm, and now looks like he has displaced Vorm.
The 26-year-old who got his first senior Argentina cap this season, has also featured twice in the Premier League and once in the Champions League for Spurs this season.
Maurizio Sarri is expected to name a full squad for the Tottenham game with the likes of Eden Hazard and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring in the starting lineup.
However, Gazzaniga has been excellent for Spurs while in goal for all of their games in the previous round of the Carabao Cup and was the hero as Spurs beat Watford on penalties in the third round and also made crucial saves in the 2-0 win over Arsenal last month.
Speaking about his decision not to start first choice goalie Hugo Lloris, Pochettino said: “Paulo played from the start of the competition against Watford at Milton Keynes, then against West Ham at the London Stadium and then against Arsenal at the Emirates.
“I think it’s normal that he’s going to play tomorrow.”
Tottenham defeated Chelsea 3-1 in the Premier League back in November, and Sarri has revealed that he’s taking the game against Spurs seriously and is expecting a different game from the last meeting, insisting that the players have the mentality and determination that was missing in the defeat against Spurs.
“The level of determination now is good,” said Sarri. “But we still have to solve some problems.
“Sometimes during matches we have not had the right reaction to difficulties and negative situations. In the last match [against Nottingham Forest] we were not able to have the right reaction to a positive situation! After our second goal we conceded four shots on goal in two minutes. We need to learn we cannot lower our application in the defensive phase.”