Tottenham return to European action on Wednesday, looking to trick the world into thinking they’re still a Champions League team by playing a day earlier than the other sides left in the competition.
In reality, Spurs are playing a day earlier because UEFA wanted to avoid them and Arsenal – both London clubs – playing at home on the same day. For what it’s worth, the Gunners’ home leg against Benfica has been moved to Greece due to coronavirus restrictions, so work that one out.
Regarding matters on the pitch, Jose Mourinho’s side have a comfortable 4-1 lead from the first leg victory over Wolfsberger and the gap in quality was generally clear to see, despite the Austrian side enjoying a good period of pressure during the second half.
Mourinho is under increasing scrutiny amid Tottenham’s poor form, having lost five of their last six Premier League games, and has highlighted the importance of the cup competitions in recent weeks with the side dropping down to ninth in England’s top flight.
Here’s the side he could select to face Wolfsberger in the second leg on Wednesday.
Joe Hart (GK) – Hugo Lloris has come in for some criticism in recent weeks and this seems like the ideal time to take him out of the firing line and give understudy Hart a rare outing.
Matt Doherty (RB) – Isn’t trusted to play right back in the Premier League in Serge Aurier’s absence, which is quite worrying for the summer signing. Should feature from the start here.
Davinson Sanchez (CB) – May be given another start, with Eric Dier due a rest after featuring in the last three games.
Toby Alderweireld (CB) – Will almost certainly feature in central defence, having missed the defeats at Manchester City and West Ham. Offers a calmer head than either Sanchez or Dier but physical abilities seem to be waning.
Ben Davies (LB) – Dropped out of the starting XI at West Ham as Sergio Reguilon made a surprise return, so will almost certainly play here.
Harry Winks (CM) – Has unsurprisingly dropped below Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele in the pecking order this season and will likely see his minutes diminish even further between now and the end of the season. Wednesday’s fixture is one Winks should expect to start, however.
Moussa Sissoko (CM) – Oh no, not *that* central midfield combination. Unfortunately, it makes sense to partner Winks and Sissoko here so Hojbjerg and Ndombele get some more rest.
Dele Alli (AM) – Some criticised Dele for attempting a flicked pass at the end of the West Ham defeat, giving the ball away in the process. Hopefully he continues to attempt creative passes that will help Spurs carve defences open, as that’s what he’s good at.
Steven Bergwijn (RW) – Tottenham should rest Gareth Bale so he’s sharp for Burnley on Sunday. Bergwijn has dropped out of the regular Premier League XI and hasn’t had many minutes recently, but this could be the perfect opportunity for the Dutchman to show off his skills in attack.
Carlos Vinicius (ST) – Tottenham should rest Harry Kane so he’s sharp for Burnley on Sunday. It’ll be hard for Vinicius to ever truly settle without a proper run of games, so this is one he definitely needs a strong outing in.
Lucas Moura (LW) – Tottenham should rest Son Heung-min so he’s sharp for Burnley on Sunday. Mourinho waxed lyrical over Lucas after the West Ham defeat, in which he scored, so hopefully he rewards him with another start here.