Tottenham’s number two Paulo Gazzaniga will have a huge chance to stake a claim for a regular starting spot when he presumably starts between the sticks against Tranmere in the FA Cup tonight, where he will put some serious pressure on Hugo Lloris if he performs well.
Well, the France international has come under fire from a number of Spurs fans this season for his performances, as well as his off-field behaviour this season. Lloris has made high profile blunders against both PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona in the Champions League this season to follow his slip up in the World Cup final, and was also charged with drink driving to compound a truly miserable start to the season.
Despite that, he has still maintained the shirt for most of the campaign, but the pressure put on him by Gazzaniga is more intense than ever before. The Argentinian stopper has impressed in his two Premier League starts this season, which has led to calls for him to start ahead of Lloris on a more regular basis.
The former Southampton keeper used to be the north London side’s third choice in goal behind Lloris and Michel Vorm, so if he can grab the headlines against Tranmere and challenge the 32-year-old for his place, it would represent a remarkable turnaround in Gazzaniga’s Spurs career.
Of course, the quality of the opposition will come into question even if Gazzaniga performs well, but the difficulty of a match like this should not be underestimated.
Under the lights, in front of over 16,000 supporters desperate to see their side perform a traditional FA Cup giant-killing and progress into the fourth round, it will be tough for the 27-year-old to keep his focus.
Additionally, the League Two side aren’t expected to roll over and let Spurs win easily. In James Norwood, Tranmere have a forward who has scored 16 goals already this season and will be hugely motivated to notch another in front of the cameras – it isn’t as plain sailing as it seems for Gazzaniga, but if he can come out on top, it should have Lloris sweating over his place in the team.