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Tottenham returns to European action on Wednesday, seeking to trick the world into thinking that it is still a Champions League team playing a day earlier than the other teams remaining in the competition.
Actually Spurs are playing a day earlier because UEFA wanted to avoid them and Arsenal, both London clubs, are playing at home on the same day. For what it’s worth, the Gunners’ home game against Benfica has moved to Greece due to coronavirus restrictions, so fix it.
On matters on the field, José Mourinho’s team has a comfortable 4-1 lead since the first leg win over Wolfsberger and the gap in quality was generally clear, despite the Austrian side he enjoyed a good period of pressure during the second half.
Mourinho is under increasing scrutiny amid Tottenham’s poor form, having lost five of their last six Premier League games, and has highlighted the importance of cup competitions in recent weeks, with the team falling to ninth place in the top flight for England.
Here’s the side he could select to face Wolfsberger in the second leg on Wednesday.
Joe Hart (GK) – Hugo Lloris has received some criticism in recent weeks and this seems like the ideal time to pull him out of the line of fire and give backup Hart a rare outing.
Matt Doherty (RB) – There is no confidence in playing back in the Premier League in the absence of Serge Aurier, which is quite concerning for the summer transfer. It should appear from the beginning here.
Davinson Sánchez (CB) – It can be given another start, with Eric Dier due to a break after appearing in the last three games.
Toby Alderweireld (CB) – He will almost certainly feature in central defense, having missed defeats at Manchester City and West Ham. Offers a calmer head than Sanchez or Dier, but physical abilities seem to be on the wane.
Ben Davies (LB) – He left the starting eleven at West Ham when Sergio Reguilon made a surprise comeback, making it almost certain that he will play here.
Harry Winks (CM) – Unsurprisingly, he has fallen behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele in the pecking order this season and his minutes are likely to decrease further between now and the end of the season. However, Wednesday’s game is one that Winks should expect to start.
Moussa Sissoko (CM) – Oh no no *that* central midfield combination. Unfortunately, it makes sense to associate Winks and Sissoko here so that Hojbjerg and Ndombele get some more rest.
Dele Alli (AM) – Some criticized Dele for attempting a quick pass at the end of West Ham’s loss, giving the ball away in the process. Hopefully he continues to try creative passes that help Spurs forge open defenses, as that’s what he’s good at.
Steven Bergwijn (RW) – Tottenham should rest Gareth Bale so he’s ready for Burnley on Sunday. Bergwijn has left the Premier League regular XI and hasn’t had many minutes recently, but this could be the perfect opportunity for the Dutchman to show off his attacking skills.
Carlos Vinicius (ST) – Tottenham should rest Harry Kane so he’s ready for Burnley on Sunday. It will be difficult for Vinicius to really settle down without a proper series of games, so he definitely needs a strong start.
Lucas Moura (LW) – Tottenham should let Son Heung-min rest, so he will be ready for Burnley on Sunday. Mourinho got lyrical with Lucas after West Ham’s loss, in which he scored, so hopefully he rewards him with another start here.
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