European football returns to White Hart Lane on Thursday as Tottenham Hotspur host Fiorentina in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie. La Viola are undefeated in their last 12 European away matches and are currently fourth in the Italian Serie A table, seven points behind Napoli in the chase for Italy's third and final Champions League spot. Spurs, by contrast, lost their last Europa League match to Besiktas while playing a rotated side, but are hoping for a strong result at home in this first leg.
In short, there isn't much. These two sides have never faced each other in European competition before, and have only played two preseason friendlies: Spurs won 3-0 in 2001 and 3-2 in 2010, with both matches held at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino has announced that the club has a clean bill of health with no injured players, which is great! This, however, is of virtually no help when it comes to what Mauricio Pochettino will do with his starting lineup. Spurs' schedule is jammed packed over the next two weeks; in addition to Thursday's tie, Spurs will face West Ham at home and a return trip to Fiorentina, all before facing Chelsea in the League Cup final at Wembley on March 1. With so many critical games in such a short period of time, it's expected that Pochettino will rest and rotate his players over the coming matches. We just have no idea who, or when.
These are the players Vincenzo Montella will take with him to London for Fiorentina's UEFA Europa League last-32 first leg against Tottenham:
Alonso, Aquilani, Babacar, Badelj, Basanta, Borja, Fernandez, Gomez, Gonzalo, Ilicic, Joaquin, Lazzari, Lezzerini, Neto, Pasqual, Pizarro, Richards, Salah, Savic, Tatarusanu, Tomovic, Vargas.
This is a first-choice squad, and it's expected that Montella will name a strong lineup for their away tie. Despite selling Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea (and receiving Mohamed Salah on loan in return), on paper Fiorentina seems to match up well with Spurs. EPL fans will recognize names such as former Bayern striker Mario Gomez (he of the Mario Gomez Button), former Liverpool man Alberto Aquilani, and oft-injured Italian-American striker Giuseppe Rossi.
How to Watch
Match Date: Thursday, February 19
Time: 8:05 p.m. GMT (3:05 p.m. ET)
Location: White Hart Lane, London, England
TV/Streaming: For American viewers, the match will be televised on Fox Soccer Plus and streamed on Fox Soccer 2GO. Fans in the UK can find it on BT Sport 2. If you're tuning in from the Great White North (that's Canada, not Finland), it's on Sportsnet 1. Aussies Aussies Aussies can watch on beIN SPORTS CONNECT Australia. Others can find their local channels here.