I was being a total smart-ass yesterday when I implied that I don't care about this game. If we win, we likely top our group in the Champions League. Based on the teams currently sitting in second place in the UEFA CL groups, this is massive. Of the six second placed teams that we would be eligible to play, I would call us favorites against every single one except for A.C. Milan. Spurs, favorites to advance to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. Incredible, isn't it?
Hopefully the team isn't looking ahead that far. They've got business to take care of today against Twente. We're the better team, but they're no slouch, even with their superstar Bryan Ruiz out with an injury. Talented youngster Nacer Chadli takes his place, and both Luuk de Jong and Mark Janko still pose a serious threat. Additionally, Denny Landzaat is still walking, somehow. Twente have won their last two matches in the Eredivisie and can secure qualification into the UEFA Europa League with a draw.
We're resting some players, but we've still fielded a strong team. Here are your lineups.
Tottenham Hotspur Lineup (4-4-2): Gomes / Assou-Ekotto, Bassong, Gallas, Corluka / Bale, Jenas, Palacios, Kranjcar / Pavlyuchenko, Defoe
FC Twente Lineup (4-3-3): Boschker / Franco, Wisgerhof, Tiendally, Roberto / Brama, Janssen, Landzaat / de Jong, Chadli, Janko
Obviously I'm not in training every day, but I'd think if we were going to rest some first teamers, Bale would be near the top of the list of potential candidates. He's gotten basically no rest all season. I'm happy to see Niko get a start and I hope he proves that he's still got it. I'm concerned that with Palacios and Jenas against a three man midfield, we're going to have crap for possession.
The game kicks off at 2:45 ET and can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel in the United States.