We’re now four hours away from kickoff in Melbourne as Spurs play their second and final pre-season friendly in Australia. Today’s opponent is Atletico Madrid. Like Juventus, Atletico is likely to rest some of their key players, but figures to have a stronger squad than we will since they have brought a number of their key players, including Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Tiago Mendes, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Fernando Torres, Oliver Torres, and new signing Sime Vrsaljko. Stars like Koke, Antoine Griezmann, and Yannick Carrasco have not made the trip.
For my part, here’s the squad I’d like to see from Pochettino:
Yedlin, Ball, Wimmer, Walker-Peters
Onomah, Carroll, Son
My thinking on the changes from Tuesday is that Yedlin needs a longer time to play at right back, Walker-Peters should get a run-out at left back (where he has played on a limited basis with the academy teams), Winks showed more promise in midfield than Mason on Tuesday, Onomah needs minutes somewhere, Carroll should get one more chance to establish himself in that attacking three, and Son needs minutes more than Chadli because the jury is still out on Sonny and Chadli is off this summer one way or another anyway.
What’s your preferred XI? What things will you be watching most closely? I’m most interested in Onomah and Yedlin, as they seem like the two current academy players who are most likely to jump up to regular first-team minutes this season. I think Dustin has successfully made me an Onomah fanboy, actually. (I’ve refused to sell him on my current FM save and he’s now three stars in midfield and CAM and is the primary backup to Dele Alli as the box-to-box guy in my midfield two and my third back-up to Eriksen in the number 10 role. He’s scored four goals in this year’s Champions League, in fact. We don’t talk about the fact that all four came in our two fixtures against Panathinaikos.)
On to the links:
Bob Bradley is reportedly on the short list for the Hull City opening.
Don’t miss this fascinating feature on “the Italian Leicester City,” Sassuolo. (That quote is from Claudio Ranieri himself.)
Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of this Neymar wonder goal:
It looks like Danny Rose might be the next Tottenham player to be offered an improved contract.