It's another Europa League day for Tottenham Hotspur, meaning we get to do some more guessing about what kind of team Andre Villas-Boas is going to field. If he is still taking this competition seriously, he has to view this home match against NK Maribor as a must-win game. At the same time, injuries are taking their toll on this side, and they have to go to Eastlands over the weekend.
Yesterday, Tottenham revealed that Jake Livermore is battling injury in their regular team news post. This means that we're very likely to see Tom Carroll and Tom Huddlestone in the center of midfield, which is hardly ideal, for two reasons. One, because we're hilariously screwed against Manchester City if Huddlestone gets hurt (or is just tired). Two, because there isn't much athleticism in a Carroll-Huddlestone midfield pairing.
Whichever one of Jermain Defoe or Emmanuel Adebayor is not starting at the weekend will probably start up top, unless Andre throws us another curve ball and plays Clint Dempsey as a center forward. I'd like to see more of Iago Falque. I'd like to see more of Andros Townsend too. I'm having a lot of trouble striking a balance between giving a look to some youngsters and trying to win the match. Here's my best guess at our team.
Projected Tottenham Hotspur starting XI (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Kyle Naughton, Steven Caulker, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker; Tom Huddlestone, Tom Carroll; Andros Townsend, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Iago Falque; Emmanuel Adebayor.
I think that's good enough to beat Maribor at home. The only guy in that lineup I have serious concerns about starting is Huddlestone, but the other options aren't good. Our other four best central midfield players are all injured. Do you want to see a Sigurdsson-Carroll double pivot? Eek.
Kickoff is at 3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. local time from White Hart Lane. You can catch the game on FOX Soccer in the U.S., ITV 4 in the U.K. and Sportsnet regional networks in Canada.