World Cup quartet to play in Cyprus

20 August 2014 05:04

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino will give Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho their first run-outs of the season in the Europa League play-off against AEL Limassol.

Spurs arrived in hot and humid Cyprus on Wednesday afternoon looking to get a positive first-leg result as they aim to make the group stage of the competition for a fourth successive season.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue have not travelled to energy-sapping Larnaca, although those who returned late from the World Cup are set to feature on Thursday.

The Belgian trio of Vertonghen, Dembele and Chadli all trained at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium ahead of the game in which they and Brazil midfielder Paulinho are set to feature.

"We believe they will get some time on the pitch," Pochettino said.

"We want to give them the opportunity to feature. The plan is for them to spend time with the group and then when we will decide when they play."

Pochettino is planning to make a number of changes to face AEL, although Hugo Lloris is one of those expected to keep his place from Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win at West Ham.

This looked the kind of game made for summer signing Michel Vorm, but he has not been registered by Spurs for the play-off stage - something Pochettino insisted was nothing to do with the ongoing transfer row between the goalkeeper's former clubs Swansea and FC Utrecht.

"He is not in the squad for this leg because he has a specific plan," the Spurs boss said.

"He arrived late from the World Cup. We think it is important to prepare him for the next level for next week."

Source: PA