There is a chance that in roughly 15 hours time Tottenham may be knocked out of the Champions League with one match still to play in the group stage. A loss to Monaco combined with a Leverkusen win against CSKA would guarantee Spurs a place outside the top two of their Champions League group. Even a draw combined with a Leverkusen win would doom us to a likely descent into the Europa League at the start of 2017.
That’s the bleak scenario.
That said, another scenario is still in play: If Spurs defeat Monaco today and CSKA gets any kind of result from Leverkusen, Spurs would be either level with Leverkusen on points but trailing via the tiebreaker) or even ahead of the Germans. They’d also be a point off Monaco. That would set us up really nicely for the final week of the group stage as we host CSKA at Wembley. A win in that game would guarantee Spurs’ progress as Monaco and Leverkusen would face each other in the other match.
It’s no stretch, then, to say that this is the biggest European fixture Spurs have had since either the second leg of the second round draw with Milan or the first leg of the quarterfinal draw with Real Madrid in 2010-11.
Here’s the question for today: What XI do you want to see Pochettino trot out? What line up do you expect to see him play?
It sounds like getting Kane, Dembele, and Dele on the field is a long shot, which means we’re likely seeing one or both of Harry Winks and Mousa Sissoko. Assuming that Kane and Dembele start but Dele is only on the bench, this is my preferred lineup: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Nkoudou, Son, Kane. I expect we’ll see that squad but with Moussa Sissoko in for Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
So who do you have? Who will be key for us today? Anyone you think might surprise us and put together a master-class performance? Let’s talk.
On to the links:
Pochettino’s former striker at Espanyol and Southampton, Dani Osvaldo, quit soccer to pursue a career in music. Fox Sports caught up with him to see how it’s going.
Granit Xhaka is still bad and it’s still completely hilarious.
This review explains how Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund finally took care of business against Bayern.
Sunderland is finally starting to look like a team capable of escaping relegation. Roker Report explains how they’ve done it.