Tottenham avoided a north London derby with Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals, but they now face a huge fight to meet them in the final after being drawn against Chelsea.
Harry Kane could not have picked a worse time to get injured, and Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping desperately that the striker is fit in time for the trip to Wembley.
And speaking of the national stadium, the Blues must be feeling confident given Spurs’ recent record there.
Every hoodoo has to come to an end, however, and there’s no reason why Tottenham can’t win, just as they did against Antonio Conte’s men in January.
Pochettino will need to exploit Chelsea’s few weaknesses and ensure his team continues scoring goals with or without Kane.
Here’s how Spurs can reach the final:
– Playing Son up front
As tempting as it may be to persevere with Vincent Janssen after he finally broke his duck against Millwall, that was still his first goal from open play. Son, on the other hand, isn’t a regular starter, but has 14 goals this season. The South Korean can be brilliant and terrible all in one game, but he often makes an impact in the big games. A modern-day Park Ji-Sung.
– Dele Alli continuing in a free role
Dele has scored seven goals this calendar year, and that’s partly because, as he’s matured, Pochettino has allowed him to operate more freely behind the striker.
– Danny Rose will be key.
The left-back should return in time, and he’s crucial to Spurs’ high energy pressing. Ben Davies has improved immensely in the last few weeks, but Chelsea won’t be expecting Spurs’ added pace with Rose back in the side.
– Keeping Eden Hazard out of the game
Manchester United’s tactics weren’t the most eye-catching for the neutral, but by staying so close to Hazard, the Belgian couldn’t really make his mark.
– Staying with three at the back.
Coming up against N’Golo Kante, there’s a risk that Spurs will lose the central midfield battle if they’re too exposed in the middle of the park. In the 2-0 win at White Hart Lane in the New Year, they beat Chelsea at their own game by adopting their style.