Spurs v AEL - My starting XI

A very important game tonight against AEL Limassol in the UEFA Europa League qualifying round that can not and should not be taken lightly.

Spurs v AEL - The last chance saloon


We saw again in the away leg what happens when you don't give teams the respect they deserve and are not mentally switched on to do a job, we did the same thing at Leeds United in the FA Cup in 2013 when we lost at their place.

You would think that for a few players this is their last chance to impress the manager in a game situation before the summer transfer window shuts. I know there is Liverpool to come but the players up for sale won't be playing in that game, unless they come on as a substitute, if they even make the 18 man squad.

The defence will need to be an area where we don't take risks. Hugo skippering in goal as per the first leg Kyle Naughton and Ben Davies. The centre-backs if we approach the game right should have an easy night so maybe new signing Federico Fazio can go straight onto the bench and have 15 mins at the end to introduce him if the game situation is right. He has had a full pre-season but if we don't want him on the bench yet then I'd bring in Milos Veljkovic to take his place.

Sandro is leaving so unlikely to figure I would think, Paulinho played and was rusty in the first game, presumably he'll be given another before we find out over the next few days whether he is staying, murmurs of a deal, possibly with Juventus in Italy. If that is the case and something has been arranged then he may not be seen as buying clubs don't want a player getting injured and neither do selling clubs for that matter.

The same really applies to Lewis Holtby, he is not a first choice selection so wants to go elsewhere to get game time. While he is being sounded out by interested parties no deal with Spurs has yet been discussed so I'd expect him to play. Should Paulinho not play then you either play Bentaleb again, but surely you want to rest him after playing every game, or you move Holtby back and bring in Christian Eriksen.

Another option would be to play Ryan Mason who has nobody down so far and this opposition isn't any stronger than anything else he has faced and leave Holtby attacking.

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If he is not to be risked then Harry Kane would have to drop into the central three and Adebayor play up front. The three behind the striker are all playing for their future, neither Lennon nor Townsend want to leave but how much game time are they going to get?

Aaron Lennon is ahead of Townsend in the pecking order, we saw that at the weekend when he was on the bench and Townsend wasn't even in the 18 man squad. That may have been a little hint to Townsend to convince him he is a bit part player but with our squad you can't pick everyone.

My Spurs XI

France Hugo Lloris (c)

England Kyle Naughton France Younes Kaboul Belgium Jan Vertonghen Wales Ben Davies

Belgium Mousa Dembele Brazil Paulinho

England Andros Townsend Germany Lewis Holtby England Aaron Lennon

England Harry Kane

Subs:
United States Friedel
Argentina Fazio
England Dier
England Mason
Algeria Bentaleb
Denmark  Eriksen
Togo Adebayor

Ever one tomake a mistake and happy to admit when I do, it occurs to me that Fazio isn't registered for us to feature tonight so Veljkovic gets his place after all for subs bench is me.


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