A teamsheet pointer for AVB

The team for tonight against Dinamo Tiblisi at White Hart Lane, which is again on ITV4 by the way, is a tough one to call. That's not going to stop me though so let's look at some options.

Spurs hammered their opponents 5-0 in the first leg which gives Andre Villas-Boas the choice of playing a strong team to gel or giving players a break. His other option is to select players working on their fitness as they come back from long term injuries and develop some youngsters.

Brad Friedel I am expecting to start in goal tonight to give Hugo Lloris a break but also to just give Brad some game time should he be needed. Personally I'd put Gomes on the bench and wouldn't have Lloris in the squad at all.

Unlike previous seasons when we have been unable to give Walker a rest this season we can so Naughton takes over at right-back in my side. Walker will be having a long season so Naughton should get plenty of opportunity on the right instead of the left this season with both League and FA Cup ties being on his agenda.

On the other side at left-back we can play and develop the positional play and crossing of Rose or we can give him a rest and play Zeki Fryers there. Whilst his pre-season appearances for us have mostly been at centre-back he is primarily a left-back so it would make perfect sense to give him a game there. Benoit Assou-Ekotto has a knee injury so is unavailable.

Moving into the centre I think it is fairly certain that Kaboul will play assuming the swelling in his knee has gone down, which surely it must have after a week. He is building his fitness, remember the other players have had 6 weeks of pre-season training but he, Holtby and Sandro haven't so are a little behind them.

The final member of the four. Zeki Fryers could play centre-back with Rose at right back, we might draft in a youngster like Kevin Stewart or Michael Dawson could play for his experience. He had an excellent game in Tiblisi where he looked after a clearly unfit Kaboul who was rusty and only to be expected, a little slow and sloppy.

Jan Vertonghen has only recently returned from injury so having nursed himself through two Premier League games another rest is in order. I'm selecting Dawson to captain the side and just hold things together.

Midfield where we have an abundance of players. First me on the teamsheet here for me is Sandro. He has had little cameos so far and may be in for a longer one tonight, it all depends upon his fitness. We don't want to over exert him at an early stage so he could perhaps come on a half-time or with an hour to go to cruise through the remainder of the match. However I'll assume his fitness level is up to it and suggest starting with him with a view to taking him off when required. If he plays I's expect him to sit a lot and do less forays forward that we are used to seeing.

Having put my midfield rock in place I'll plump for four midfielders in front of him, two wide men, an attacking midfielder and a link man.

Next name on the teamsheet for me is Tom Carroll in the link man role taking the ball from the defenders or the defensive midfielder to the attack, wingers or attacking midfielder and joining in the attacks. It's an ideal game to start him in and give him 90 minutes.

Lennon did not train yesterday so he is out which leaves us with Townsend or Sigurdsson to play on the right. Siggy usually is put on the left but if he is off to Germany then how would it help us to play him? By a process of elimination Townsend gets the nod.

On the left we have Chadli, Townsend or Sigurdsson. Well having looked at two of them already you'd think I would plump for Chadli but no I'm going for another player coming back from injury, I'm going to select Lewis Holtby on the left. He has played one game for the Development squad so I would expect to see him involved at some stage tonight if not starting then coming off the bench. If ITK is correct and AVB sees his best position as a number six rather than as an attacking midfielder I've left that slot for a youngster. Lewis is a versatile player so getting game time and fitness is the priority with him.

That leaves me with the attacking midfielder or number 10 role player and here I'm going to give Harry Kane a run out. Tonight should see us dominate the game and be attacking a lot so harry should see plenty of the ball and will hopefully tuck away a chance that comes his way.

The lone striker role goes to Jermain Defoe so Soldado can grab some time off in what may be a long season for him. Arsenal is more important, don't want the slightest chance of injury thanks so not even a place on the bench for him. Adebayor I hear you shout, the guy isn't fit, if you twist my arm I could find a place on the bench for him.

That leaves my team looking like this:

Friedel
Naughton Dawson(c) Kaboul Fryers
Sandro
Townsend Carroll Holtby
Kane
Defoe

I might as well go the whole hog and pick a bench as well which will need to comprise a keeper, a full-back, a central defender, defensive midfielder, two midfielders and an attacker.

Subs: Gomes, Rose, Stewart, Capoue, Bentalib, Ceballos, Coulthirst

A young bench to give them experience of a full house at White Hart Lane and show them what they are aiming for. I would bring on all three subs during the game and not bring on Rose or Capoue unless absolutely necessary. Hotlby, depending on fitness could move into Sandro's role if needed.

A message sent to Adebayor by not including him and unfortunate Sigurdsson doesn't make the squad but for me if he is being loaned or sold what is the point in including him? If he were staying I'd start him and bring Holtby off the bench, leaving Capoue out of the squad, but I believe he is going.

I doubt that's what AVB will plump for but then he's paid and I'm doing it for free!

For those who missed it The morning Spurs round-up article




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