Pochettino: Spurs set for ‘massive test’ against Bluebirds

Tottenham Hotspur assistant Jesus Perez (left), manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) and first-team

Tottenham Hotspur assistant Jesus Perez (left), manager Mauricio Pochettino (centre) and first-team coach Miguel D'Agostino at Hotspur Way (pic: John Walton/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tottenham Hotspur will face a Cardiff City team who have not conceded in over 180 minutes of football

Mauricio Pochettino is expecting a massive test when Tottenham Hotspur face Cardiff City later this evening in a 5.30pm kick-off on New Year’s Day.

It will be Spurs’ first match of 2019 and like in 2018, they will attempt to win at a Welsh club in their first match of the year.

This time last year it was Swansea City and the Lilywhites won 2-0 on a rain-soaked evening and they will hope for a repeat result this time around.

Pochettino said: “Cardiff are a tough team to play against. I think it will be difficult, of course, and their physicality makes them a very dangerous team.

“They have some quality players and I think it will be a massive test for us, after the Wolves defeat, to go there and again to create and be positive.”

Spurs will be facing a Bluebirds team who won 1-0 at Leicester City on Saturday and also earned a goalless draw away to Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

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Before losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, Tottenham had smashed in 11 goals in two games, but they will find it tough in Wales.

Neil Warnock’s side made life difficult for the Lilywhites on October 6 at Wembley Stadium, but Pochettino’s team ground out a one-goal victory thanks to Eric Dier’s early opener.

Cardiff appear to be a more confident side now, though, and that will pose Tottenham with a different test.

Pochettino added: “I think, after the Wolves defeat, which in football can happen, we need to be clever enough to try to move on and to find energy again to be competitive because it’s going to be tough.

“At Cardiff, they won against Leicester (on Saturday), Leicester after two amazing victories against Chelsea and Manchester City, and Cardiff sure is going to have all the confidence, so it’s going to be a tough game.”

On making changes, Pochettino added: “It is more collective than two, three or four players. Sometimes it happens.

“Now we need to breath and try to recover, but of course we will do some changes like always to provide some energy to the team.”