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Thursday, 10 March 2016

A Champions League challenge

Thanks for the messages of support. I have been hardly able to see out of my left eye, disappointing since I have gone a whole winter without much trouble. The weeping has started so reading anything is a great difficulty. Having had this for 5 years, I know when it gets like this I have to avoid the laptop for a brief spell to not aggravate the condition, thus there have been no posts, as you have experienced before.

It is Thursday, it is the UEFA Europa League, it is Germany and it is Borussia Dortmund. A quick peek at the bookmakers odds and they have Dortmund as hot favourites with Tottenham at over 5/1 and te draw over 3/1, wich seems massive to me, but I never bet on Spurs matches.

Dortmund sit second in the Bundesliga 5 points adrift of Bayern Munich and 12 points clear of Hertha Berlin in third. We are also 5 points adrift of Leicester City so it is a tough game for both sides and one where a draw for us would be a good result.

We are very used to squad rotation now, Alli is of course suspended thanks to a ridiculous referee decision, Eric Dier is having a well-earned rest and Danny Rose has a touch of cramp.

Lloris, Vorm, Walker, Trippier, Davies, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Carter-Vickers, Winks, Dembele, Mason, Carroll, Bentaleb, Eriksen, Onomah, Lamela, Son, Chadli, Kane, Harrison.

You would expect to see Hugo Lloris between the jumpers, with Trippier and Davies at full-back. Alderweireld and Wimmer have to start in central defence, where a slight concern is that Wimmer seems to pick up a yellow card per game. It isn't quite that bad, but he does pick up too many for my liking.

In front of himNabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason may get the nod, however as usual, whoever plays the Mason role may well be hauled off after 60 or 70 minutes for a replacement. Son didn't start at the weekend, you would expect him to start this game having come to us from the Bundesliga. It makes sense to use that experience. 

Erik Lamela has been doing well in Europe, but if we want to play him at the weekend he may well give way to Chadli. Again you would expect a change after 60 or 70 minutes. The third member of the attacking trio you expect to be Eriksen, again being substituted with the weekend in mind. Harry Kane up top.

If we want to compete in the Champions League then this is the standard of team we have to be used to playing. They are Champion League regulars, they have a level of European experince that this young Spurs side don't have. The game will be an education and an excellent test. It is a game to look forward to, a challenge. If you want to win anything then you have to meet challenges head on, squarely in the eye.You can not be afraid of them, put them off or shy away from them.

That is the way Mauricio Pochettino operates and this team operate. Good luck boys.


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