Everton and Spurs aim to crash League Cup party
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Fans of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping their teams can buck recent trends by overcoming Chelsea and Arsenal in the League Cup semi-finals, starting with this week's first legs.
Tottenham have not beaten Arsenal in 20 games and lost over two legs at the same stage of the competition last season while Everton's record against Chelsea is similarly poor with only one victory in 22 games in the last 20 years.
Everton were knocked out of the FA Cup by third division Oldham Athletic 1-0 at home on Saturday while Spurs were held to a 2-2 home draw by Reading. Chelsea and Arsenal eased through with wins over Queens Park Rangers and Burnley.
Obviously, then, it should be a repeat of the 2007 final, when Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1, in this year's final at Wembley on Feb. 24.
Everton manager David Moyes thinks otherwise, and the fact that he rested half a dozen leading players against Oldham to keep them fresh for Tuesday's trip to Stamford Bridge (2000 GMT) shows he has got the whiff of a trophy in his nostrils for the first time in his tenure at Goodison.
'I've been here nearly six years and I don't want to pass through this place without being able to touch photographs of our team on the walls, because we've not done anything. I want to try and do something,' he told the Sunday Times.
'Apart from Middlesbrough (League Cup in 2004) nobody outside the big four has won a cup competition in I don't know how long...For a lot of reasons we want to do it.'
Everton have never won the League Cup and only appeared in the final twice, in 1977 and 1984.
Moyes said Chelsea represent a tough draw as they take the League Cup seriously but added: 'It's a tie where we have to show that maybe at Everton we need to win the cup more than they do.'
Tottenham fans are still rueing their chance to gatecrash the party 12 months ago when they led Arsenal 2-0 after an hour of the first leg at home but drew 2-2 then lost the second leg 3-1 after extra time.
This year the first leg is at the Emirates on Wednesday (2000 GMT) where Arsene Wenger's usual policy of fielding his reserves might need a tweak as most of them were on duty against Burnley on Sunday while the African Nations Cup exodus further limits the manager's options.