After a gritty, scary win over West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday, all eyes now return to the Champions League, where Tottenham will travel to Cyprus for Tuesday night’s match against APOEL Nicosia. Tottenham’s Harry Kane was asked about Spurs’ confidence going into their first away test of the campaign, and he suggested that while they are not looking past APOEL, the team feels like they can take two wins from two.
“Of course we are confident, especially after the last result in the Champions League. It is going to be tough but we feel we can win.
“It is a quick turnaround but with a win, we would be on six points, which would be a great position. I imagine it will be a hostile atmosphere and we don’t know what the pitch will be like, so we have to adapt to that as quickly as possible.”
After Tuesday, Spurs’ next two Champions League matches are back-to-back games against Real Madrid, the two-time defending Champions of Europe. Spurs will not be favored against Madrid in either of those matches, and coming out of those two games with any sort of result should be considered a bonus.
But heading into those two games with six points — including an away win — would give them a cushion, especially if Madrid is able to beat Dortmund at the Westfalonstadion on Tuesday. APOEL isn’t a large club, but they were good enough to qualify for the competition on their own merits. And we’ve learned anything from our recent years participating in European competition, it’s never to look past an opponent playing at home.
We don’t know for sure how Spurs will line up against APOEL on Tuesday, but we can take a reasonable guess.
The back three of Jan Vergonhen, Davinson Sanchez, and Toby Alderweireld will likely continue in Cyprus. EDIT: Yowza, I forgot Jan got the red card! That could have an impact on Spurs’ lineup. It’s possible that Spurs could pull in Juan Foyth to replace Jan, but it seems more likely that Spurs could revert to a 4-2-3-1 with Sanchez and Alderweireld, which could make room for someone like Moussa Sissoko or Georges-Kevin N’Koudou in the attacking midfield band.
With Dele Alli still suspended, Son Heung-Min is almost certainly starting on Tuesday along with Christian Eriksen behind Harry Kane. Likewise, Mousa Dembele was rested against West Ham and is in line to start in midfield, probably beside either Eric Dier or Harry Winks (who had only a cameo appearance on Saturday).
Ironically, Serge Aurier’s sending off against the Hammers probably now means that he is likely to start against APOEL, since he is now suspended for Spurs’ next league match. Ben Davies will play because there is no one behind him.