Well, here we are. Tottenham Hotspur host Monaco in the final group stage match of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League today at White Hart Lane, and the drama associated with a European competition against a continental opponent is not very high.
Tottenham are currently atop Group J with 10 points from five matches, three ahead of Anderlecht. Spurs have already clinched progression to the Round of 32, but any kind of result today (or a loss combined with an Anderlecht loss or draw) will ensure that they win their group and get seeded status in Monday's knock-out round draw. Finishing second wouldn't be catastrophic: if Anderlecht do pip them, it marginally increases the chances that they'll draw a really good team in the next round, but thanks to the Champions League drop-outs parachuting in, the odds are pretty decent that they'll draw someone really good and/or scary even if they do win the group.
It's safe to say that most Spurs fans want significant rotation, but this is Mauricio Pochettino we're talking about. We've all predicted rotation in Europa games before, and we've been proven hilariously wrong each time. So while a few key players (Read: Harry Kane, Mousa Dembele) will get rests today, don't be surprised if we see a suspiciously strong team. Nabil Bentaleb and Nacer Chadli are both back in the squad, so we might see some second half minutes from one or both of them as well.
Spurs have a league match against Newcastle coming up on Sunday, and the busy holiday match congestion cometh. The best case scenario today is that we get at least a draw out of this, some match time for a few backups/recovering players, and everyone comes out healthy.
How to Watch
Date/time: Thursday, December 10, 8:05 p.m. (UK), 3:05 p.m.. ET (USA)
Venue: White Hart Lane, North London, UK
Official: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
TV: Fox Sports 1 (USA), BT Sport Europe (UK), TSN 1 (Canada), beIN Sports (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer2Go (USA), WatchESPN (USA - Spanish), BT Sport Live (UK)
Radio: Audio typically streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
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