Thursday 19th September, White Hart Lane, 20:05 live on ITV4
After the slightly over enthusiastic reaction to beating a Norwich team that played to our strengths, we return to European action on Thursday night welcoming Tromso to the Lane . The reaction may have been slightly over the top (Eriksen was almost the second coming of the messiah) at the weekend but that should not detract from the fact that it was a very good Spurs performance.
We have made an excellent start to the season, conceding only a single goal and it cannot be taken for granted how important the midweek games are in keeping the momentum going. No matter who plays, it is a squad game now and the players mentality will rub off on others if games do not go well.
With a tricky game coming up in south Wales at the weekend, you would expect some rotation to occur. I have discussed how I think rotation could work in my previous post (here) and would hope that some rotation would be made for this game.
AVB has come out to give a little moan about the fixtures at the moment. I agree completely, if we play on Sunday after a Thursday European game so there is time to recover then why is the same rule not applied between Sunday and Tuesday. Now clearly there are some traditional exceptions to this if days fall at certain points (Christmas say) but don’t think September is one of those periods. However, we have all been banging on about how good and deep the squad is so we need to just get on with it!
Spurs released there third kit today, I honestly thought they were not going to bother with a third kit this season given the price increase on the shirts this year. It is better than the away kit though, wonder if they will wear it tonight to promote it… update, nope it will be worn at the weekend!
Tromso are currently struggling in the Norwegian league, sitting a place above the relegation playoff spot on goal difference. They are still in the competition because Besiktas got thrown out and therefore progressed despite losing to the Turkish team 3-2 on aggregate at the playoff stage.
Scandinavian teams generally seem to play football closer in style to the English game so we should expect them to play like a lower league club. However this is a big fixture for Tromso and provides a release from their disappointing league campaign.
It is a shame we were not playing this game in Norway, Tromso are the northmost top tier team in the world and the return fixture is in November – very cold in the arctic circle you would guess at that time of year.
Expected line up
With the trip to Wales coming up at the weekend, you would expect a fair amount of rotation for the game. Chadli, Lennon and Capoue are out injured with Adebayor working his way back to fitness. I have gone with the following 4-2-3-1:
Subs: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Paulinho, Eriksen, Kane
You would expect some players to definitely start in a rotation sense. Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Holtby and Defoe fall into this category. Whether Naughton replaces Rose or Walker is anyone’s guess but given Walker had two England games I would go for him. You would expect Dawson to retain his place (unless perhaps Chiriches has a work permit now) for the same reason Rose will keep his, no international football. Defoe has to play some part in our season despite being second choice (currently) behind Soldado, he will find game time limited this year I think and wouldn’t be surprised if he disappears come January.
Against ‘weaker’ teams we should not have a need to play a holding midfielder hence Sandro only making the bench, he will probably start at the weekend. I went with Dembele and Holtby as the central midfield pair, I think Holtby is a number 10 really but has said himself he can play deeper. I picked Dembele over Paulinho as he has played less minutes than Paulinho, also if Sandro does come in at the weekend I would expect it to be at the expense of Dembele rather than Paulinho.
If there was ever a game that you could throw Lamela in and say ‘show us what you can do’ then this is it! We are a little short at the moment in the wing department so expect Townsend to retain his place or perhaps Siggy will move wide and Kane starting as the number 10…
We should win this game and win it comfortably. I’m going to go for 4-0 with Defoe (2), Holtby and Kane scoring.
So what do you think? Wholesale changes? What is your line up and predicted score?
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