Tottenham conclude their Europa League group stage hosting Russian outfit, Anji Makhachkala at White Hart Lane on Tuesday night. The team involved in the fixture already know their fate in the competition, rendering the result irrelevant due to Tottenham already securing top spot of the group, with Anji behind in second.
Due to irrelevancy of the fixture, Andre Villas Boas is expected to make a whole raft of changes for the match, with players such as Kyle Walker, Paulinho and Aaron Lennon, of who have all played a large number of games as far this season, are expected to be rested.
Midfield maestro Christian Eriksen and left full back, Danny Rose have returned to full training after recovering from an ankle and toe injury respectively and both could receive some much needed game time before the crucial league match on the weekend against Liverpool.
Centre half triplet, Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches and Jan Vertonghen are all out of the match, due to quad, knee and ankle injuries respectively, whilst Emmanuel Adebayor continues his extended leave from the squad, despite being in training.
Youngsters, Ryan Fredericks, Laste Dombaxe and Shaquile Coulthirst are all in the squad and will be eager to impress Villas Boas, as they attempt to prove their worth in the Tottenham squad.
Anji meanwhile are in a whole world of trouble. Plummeting down the Russian League to the bottom after their multi-millionaire owner withdrew funds from the squad, resulting in the sale of star men such as Chris Samba, Willian and Samuel Eto’o. Arguably their only remaining player of note, Lacina Traore, is likely to be rested as they fight for safety in their domestic league.
The team of which Andre Villas Boas decides upon fielding with have a heavily reflect the players of who will start on Sunday against Liverpool. Midfielder, Etienne Capoue is likely to remain in centre half, whilst Zeki Fryers, who is naturally a left back, but can occupy a centre half role, may be given the chance at the heart of defence as we currently face an injury crisis.
Kyle Naughton will almost definitely start at his preferred right back slot, deputising for Kyle Walker, whilst Andros Townsend and Gylfi Sigurdsson could be given the opportunity to push their way back into the first team picture as competitions for places increasingly grows. Robbie Soldado could be given an opportunity to prove his goal scoring prowess in order to return to the first team, ahead of Jermaine Defoe.
My Predicted Starting Eleven:
I think we’ll win this match to secure a very impressive 18 points from a possible 18 in the Europa League group stage. I can’t see Anji being a worry in front of goal, after their less than impressive display in the reverse fixture; I’ll go for a very optimistic 3-0.