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Monday, 23 November 2015

Important Europa League game

Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Thursday, 26 November, 18:00
Tofiq Bahramov Stadium
Qarabag FK

The next game up is a 4,938 mile round trip to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku to take on Qarabag who gave us some initial problems at White Hart Lane. Quite apart from the journey we have to remember that Chelsea await us at the weekend so it wouldn't be ideal to send the entire first team.

This is a game for Andros Townsend to be reintroduced and have his say. If he isn't motivated for this game he will never be and a sale a certainty. Clinton Njie has just recovered from injury so will need some game time, Dele Alli is suspended, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier will come in for Rose and Walker.

Do we leave Lloris at home after all the troubles in France and give Vorm an outing, do we continue to pay Alderweireld and Vertonghen every minute or give this game over to Fazio and Wimmer? Then there is Tom Carroll to consider, giving Josh Onomah another cameo, perhaps Harry Winks as well. It may be an idea to leave Eriksen at home and play Lamela instead.

Mauricio Pochettino has tended to play strong sides this season

Qarabag sit top of the Premyer Liqa having won their last four games scoring seven goals and conceding none. After 13 games, they are 9 points clear at the top having won 10 and drawn 2. They have netted 24 times and conceded just 8. Their striker Richard, a Brazilian, heads the league scoring charts with 6, three of which have been penalties while Swedish attacker Samuel Armenteros has 4.

As you can see from the group table below the avoidable loss to Anderlecht has compressed the table at a time when we didn't really need it. We have to ensure we avoid defeat or secure victory, usually playing away in Europe we draw though. Selection will not be easy for this game with Chelsea in mind, remembering that the body takes 48 hours to fully recover, which won't be helped by a plane flight.




In this round of games Monaco are at home to Anderlecht and in the nxt round we have to play Monaco at White Hart Lane. We don't really want to go into that game needing points so doing a professional job is important on Thursday.

This game is an ideal opportunity for a few of the squad players to show their worth. The pressure will be on and they will have to be able to handle that to show Pochettino they can be trusted to produce.


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