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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Selection Conundrum

No Tottenham fan needs reminding who we are playing today or the length of the trip, you have heard that countless time on other sites. The lack of recovery time, it takes the body 48 hours to fully recover from playing a football match, which isn't aided by travelling, is a concern given who we are playing. Just like before the League Cup Final Chelsea get more recovery time that us.

For the cup final Chelsea had over a week to prepare. Their players were fully recovered by Monday lunchtime for a Sunday kick-off. Spurs players played away on the Thursday evening and weren't fully recovered until Saturday night. With no time to prepare for the game, no time to work on tactics, there was a massive advantage for Chelsea which they took advantage of. That isn't an excuse, it is simply a fact, this time Chelsea played on Tuesday and we play on Thursday.

Moving on to Qarabag, they have won one of their last five home European ties and lost one. They have scored two goals and let in three goals, keeping three clean sheets. Tottenham have also won only one of the last five away fixtures in Europe. We have lost three, scoring seven and let in four.

Over a longer period, the last 20 European away games has seen us keep 7 clean sheets. We have won 6 and drawn 8 of them, which means 6 losses. Our win rate is just 1 in 4. Clearly we can not take the opposition for granted, we can not just assume we will win, as many a fan tends to so. The team will still have to have some strength to it and a second XI rarely performs as the first XI do, we have seen that again and again in Europe.

We have to rest players for Chelsea so it is no surprise to see Walker, Rose and Dembele not travelling, clearly they will be playing Sunday. Dele Alli is suspended for the Chelsea game so that his travelling isn't an issue.

We have to take a professional approach to the game. Qarabag do not score many goals in Europe so if we keep it tight we may be able to keep a clean sheet. Do we play conservatively and nick a goal or do we try to go ahead early. I'm sure Pochettino would like the game won quickly and then an energy saving performance to secure the win with the Chelsea game in mind.
Possible Pochettino XI
Trippier Alderweireld Vertonghen Davies
Dier Alli
Townsend Mason Eriksen

I'd be resting Harry Kane and giving Clinton Njie a game. Dele Alli and Mason could change positions or Eriksen could remain on the bench for Njie. Selection revolves around Kane, Eriksen and Son, all of whom one would expect to play against Chelsea so their game time needs to be managed to an hour is possible.

Further Tottenham articles from THBN
Heung-min Son's marketing message
Duck for Christmas anyone, Spurs head striker chase
Spurs scouting unknown 20yo winger in France
Important Europa League game
Chances created and conceded, where do Spurs sit in the table?
VIDEO: Lloris full individual highlights vs West Ham
VIDEO: Full Kane individual performance vs West Ham

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