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Sandro Can Start For Tottenham Against Newcastle

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Sandro has been with the Brazilian under-23 team for the entirety of Andre Villas-Boas' reign as Tottenham Hotspur manager, and he's about to go play another friendly match with the senior Brazil side in Sweden. He'll probably show up at Spurs Lodge on Thursday and he'll probably only go through a training session with Villas-Boas once, on Friday, before the game against Newcastle United.

The Guardian printed a story yesterday about Sandro's absence from the team because of Brazil duty, along with Luka Modric's petulance and Scott Parker's injury. Villas-Boas' top three central midfielders are trying to get transferred, injured, and on international duty, respectably. Supposedly, this presents a serious selection problem because Sandro has not trained with Tottenham and played in Villas-Boas' system. This presents a selection dilemma, and Villas-Boas could be forced into playing two of Jake Livermore, Jermaine Jenas and Tom Huddlestone instead of Sandro.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

There are a lot of very good reasons why Sandro can start on Saturday, but I'm going to give you three of them.

Sandro is fit

He's been playing competitive matches all summer. Not so much that he's going to be run into the ground, but enough that his match fitness is probably better than any of the central midfielders who have been in training and preseason games with Tottenham. He's probably in the form and fitness that most of these guys aren't going to find until mid-September.

Sandro knows his teammates

He's never played with Gylfi Sigurdsson, but he should know everyone else on the team just as well as, if not better than Livermore, Jenas and Huddlestone. He might not have had time training with Villas-Boas, but he's had plenty of time both training and playing real games with Jermain Defoe, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and whoever might partner him in midfield if he starts.

Brazil play essentially the same tactics as Spurs anyway

Not only has Sandro been playing in a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 all summer, but he's been playing in an attack-minded team that moves the ball quickly and uses him to recycle possession, as well as break up opposition attacks. Sure, there's more to Villas-Boas and Tottenham's tactics than that, but how much more than that could the players in training have possibly picked up in less than two months? Throw him out there with some basic instructions and he'll out-perform whoever would have started in his place.


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