Tottenham Hotspur has released team news ahead of tomorrow's final Europa League group stage match against Monaco at White Hart Lane, and Spurs are expected to welcome back a pair of recuperating midfielders. Nacer Chadli and Nabil Bentaleb are both expected to join the match day squad after long injuries.
Chadli hasn't been seen since picking up an injury against Liverpool in October, and Bentaleb has been struggling with an ankle injury all season. He returned to fitness in time for the last round of international fixtures, but re-injured himself while on duty with Algeria. Don't expect either of them to start against Monaco after such a long lay-off, but it wouldn't surprise anyone if they are on the bench and get some substitution minutes.
Spurs have already qualified for the Europa League Round of 32 after defeating
Monaco Qarabag a few weeks ago, but they can clinch the top of Group J and (theoretically) get a favorable draw by either drawing or beating Monaco, or with a loss if Anderlecht loses to Qarabag.
So, with progression assured and a relatively meaningless match home to Monaco, surely we'll see some major rotation, right? Not so fast, my friends. Mauricio Pochettino did admit that Harry Kane is likely to be rested for this weekend's league match against Newcastle, but hinted that we may not see the amount of rotation that we're all hoping for.
"Is it a chance to rest [Kane]? Maybe yes. He is in the squad for tomorrow but it is true we need to assess him this afternoon and we have to decide the starting 11 for tomorrow."
"There may be one or two more changes but not much... I think the squad we have is strong enough to compete in different competitions but maybe if you compare (the team) to the game against Qarabag there will be some changes, but not too much...
Tomorrow is a good opportunity to finish first and win the group - this is our objective."
Unfortunately, this probably means that while Kane may start on the bench in favor of Son Heung-Min (who was benched last weekend against West Brom) and the rotation fullbacks of Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, Spurs will almost certainly start Hugo Lloris and could roll with one or more of Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen. Those of you hoping that the likes of Tom Carroll, Harry Winks, Josh "Joshy" Onomah, Kevin Wimmer, and Clinton N'Jie will get starts may end up disappointed.