Tottenham Hotspur face the biggest test of their season so far today against the Spanish Champions, Real Madrid.
Tottenham face an injury and selection crisis ahead of the game as Ben Davies will miss the match due to illness. Davies has been consistent throughout the season and has been a revelation while playing as a left wingback. His pace and awareness makes him an irreplaceable part of Pochettino’s team. His absence will affect the team’s formation and Pochettino will have to tweak the position of some players.
“It’s difficult. I don’t believe so. I hope that he can be involved again as soon as possible, but we need to assess him. But I am not so positive. I hope that I am wrong and tomorrow he can train with us,” said Pochettino, as quoted by Football London.
Dele Alli will be missing the game due to his suspension and that could be a huge loss, as the Spurs would have wanted his creativity in the final third. Danny Rose is unlikely to be risked while Lamela and Wanyama are still missing. Mousa Dembele will be in contention for a spot in this match.
Hugo Lloris will be the trusted man to take the goalkeeper’s gloves. Lloris will have to be at his best to deny Real Madrid from scoring as the high intensity of the match can test the goalkeeper’s composure. Serge Aurier should start as the right back in this match. Aurier has ample experience of playing against bigger clubs during his time at PSG. He is a hard tackler of the ball and a real threat while going forward. Jan Vertonghen will shift to the left back position once again this time. Though the Belgian does make many attacking moves while going forward, he is a safe option for a match like this one. His defensive game will be essential for the Spurs if they hope to keep a clean sheet.
Meanwhile, Davinson Sanchez will face his biggest test since his move to Tottenham. The youngster has been mighty impressive so far but his calmness on the ball as well as the positioning, off it, will be tested. He will have a huge responsibility of handling the duo of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo who roared back into form against Getafe this weekend. Toby Alderweireld will add some more experience and stability to this defence.
Eric Dier will be given the responsibility of shielding the defence and breaking up attacks in the midfield. He will be up against some of the best-attacking players in Europe and will have to find out a way to keep a clean sheet. Mousa Dembele will be a valuable addition to the starting eleven. His passing, as well as his hold-up play and defensive contribution, will be essential for Tottenham to win the midfield battle. Youngster Harry Winks can start on the left side of the midfield three.
Pochettino will rue the suspension of Dele Alli but can still line up a strong attacking trio. Son-Heung-Min can start again and his creativity can be used well by the Spurs. Due to Real Madrid’s attacking threat, Spurs will sit back for most of the game and would look to attack on the counter. Son is a good exponent during counter attacks and his quick pace, as well as his slick passing, will be important for the team. Christian Eriksen will look forward to becoming the main provider for Harry Kane and his key passes into the box will determine Tottenham’s goalscoring fortunes in this match.
Here’s an evidence of Dele Alli’s impact on the team:
RECORD: Dele Alli is the youngest player in Spurs history to score 30 Premier League goals for the club.
21 years and 138 days old. pic.twitter.com/S0mjMDEuhX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 27, 2017