A step into the unknown for Pochettino - My XI

The AEL Limassol game represents a big game for Mauricio Pochettino in a competition he is not a lover of.

European competition as a manager in entirely new to him, neither Espanyol or Southampton made it to European competition so he will need to learn fast. He will have to accept his side will play on a poor pitch that upsets his passing game, the training is in a heat and humidity he doesn't see over here, then there is the game itself in the same conditions, there are selection issues balancing the need to win with a Premier League game at the weekend and the desire to give squad players game time.

Managing a squad in a European competition and domestic league is a bit different than simply picking the same players week in week out. There were murmurs at previous clubs that he had his favourites, well at smaller clubs you have less quality players to choose from and have to pick basically the same eleven each week so it could seem like that.

Here at Tottenham though is a squad full of talent that all expect to play and that has to be considered and managed while keeping all the players on your side. To that end the UEFA Europa League is a blessing rather than a distraction, it enables players to play and impress the manager.

At last now the Europa League has a Champions League carrot for the first time, this will be the first time the winners get entry into the major European competition and why Pochettino now has it on his radar as he confirmed to journalist Simon Peach.

"The Europa League is now a different competition. "Why? Well, if you won it last year you basically got nothing. Just a trophy. 
"Now the Europa League gives you the opportunity to play in the Champions League. That is a big challenge for us."

He decided to leave some important players behind for this game so Emmanuel Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Aaron Lennon, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue didn't make the trip, while Michel Vorm isn't registered for this stage of the competition.

The returning World Cup players Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho are all hoping to figure while Michael Dawson has been out since the 19th minute of the pre-season 6-1 win against Celtic on August 2nd.

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Ben Davies will also be hoping to start having watched Danny Rose play in the opening Premier League fixture against West Ham on Saturday. He has quickly learnt you have to fight for your place in a squad, Pochettino will want to see how he reacts to that.

Up front Roberto Soldado is expected to lead the line with Adebayor being rested for the weekend and Harry Kane may well get to play in Christian Eriksens role, another left behind.

My Spurs XI would see Paulinho on the bench, coming on for the second half for Dembele.

Naughton Dawson Vertonghen Davies
Sandro Dembele
Townsend Kane Chadli

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