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Monday, 5 September 2016

Stoke City selection conundrum


The next game, a Premier League encounter against Stoke City under Mark Hughes, poses selection problems because of the UEFA Champions League tie against Monaco four days later.

Mauricio Pochettino replaces midfield players after 60 minutes so we can expect to see a couple of players substituted off. He will have been pleased that England only had one game during the international break with Sam Allardyce preferring to train with the squad rather than have a friendly squad, to no discernible difference. Wayne Rooney was still getting in the way of everything and stopping us playing. The guy needs to be instructed where he is playing ad what his role is, not just to do whatever he feels like.

Anyway back to Stoke. Michel Vorm one assumes will continue in goal. Hugo Lloris is progressing and believes he'll be fit to face Stoke but hamstring injuries need to be totally healed or you'll simply tear the muscle again and be out for longer. These injuries heal quicker when you are younger, as you get older so does the recovery time. Our medical staff will advise Pochettino, but he may be given a few extra days and be ready for Monaco. Certainly the performance of Vorm demonstrated there isn't a problem putting him in goal and the fans confidence crisis should have abated.

We could see an outing for Trippier at right-bac. Walker played for England and will play in the Champions League, it makes sense to give him an early rest and get Trippier, who has had no international commitments, into the action.

I imagine our centre-back pairing will remain the same Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertinghen with a conundrum at left-back. Danny Rose played for England and presumably Ben Davies will play for Wales tonight. Rose will be required for the Champions League and Pochettino does change his full-backs given the energy they have to expend. We may well see Davies at left-back, although Davies could just as easily play against Monaco.

The players will be monitored when they come back from international duty and the readings the medical staff get will go a long way to determining who gets the nod.

Dier seemed to play all the time last season and Victor Wanyama has been in the heat of Africa playing for Kenya. He will have had more rest, but Dembele is missing still so we may well see Dier and Wanyama paired together again with new signing Moussa Sissoko coming on for one of them after 60 or 70 minutes. As yet the Frenchman hasn't trained with his new teammates so he is unlikely just to be thrown into an important Premier League game with so little preparation within our playing system.

Lamela, Alli and Eriksen are all likely to play with Son having played quite a bit of football already this season for his country. Alli was only a substitute for England so there shouldn't be any fitness issues there while up front Pochettino will want Kane to get off the mark for the season so he may well start, again with Janssen coming off the bench later.

Trippier Alderweireld Vertonghen Davies
Dier Wanyama
Lamela Alli Eriksen
Kane (c)

Subs: Lloris, Walker, Wimmer, Onomah, Winks, Sissoko, Janssen


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