White Hart Lane, London
20:05 GMT, 10th December 2015
Tottenham are top of the table in their group, and face Monaco in their final group level game. Will Spurs use a reserve team or will they play their best team and give it all for the final three points?
Tottenham face French rivals AS Monaco as the final leg of Group stage matches come to an end. With ten points and a goal difference of +3, Spurs stand top of the table with the only threat being from Belgian side Anderlecht who have a +1 goal difference and a three point gap. Mauricio Pochettino will not want to take any risk and would like to ensure that his team finish top of the table.
Monaco on the other hand have all to play for, they would need a victory as well as a loss for the Belgian side, if they require any chance qualifying to the next round. Hence we can be sure that Monaco are going to throw everything at their opponents, including the proverbial kitchen sink. With 6 points in their bag, a victory will ensure they have done their bit to secure the 9 points needed to get into second place and hope that Anderlecht stay at 7.
Tactics and Predicted Line-up’s
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Considering the fact that Tottenham have a need for victory, its highly likely that Pochettino would play a full strength squad against the French side. Hugo Lloris as always will be the chosen goal keeper. With striking threats such as El Sharaawy playing against the team, it would be vital for the team to have its best shot-stopper in place for the final leg of the group stage matches.
The Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen who have been in exceptional form off-late will be the central defensive pairing for the game. Defensive left winger, Ben Davies will add to the solidity in the back four in place of Danny Rose at left-back. Keiran Trippier will play instead of Walker at right-back.
Pochettinoa s as usual will play a 4-2-3-1, and hence he will have his trustworthy duo of Dier and Alli in the deep midfield, role. Alli, who will be oozing of confidence after his brilliant display and goal against West Brom in the weekend will be looking to score against the French side and anchor his position in the starting eleven in all competitions.
The three advanced midfield roles will go to Lamela on the right, Dembele in the middle, and Na jie on the right. Eriksen will be given a rest after his average display over the weekend. Harry Kane will not be a part of the starting eleven but he would be on the bench as Hueng Min-Son will take his place as a striker.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Alli, Lamela, Dembele, Na jie; Son;
Going into this fixture, Monaco do not have it easy as they have to depend on results from two matches to qualify. However, since only one of them is in their hands, Leonardo Jardim will ensure that his team earn the much required 3 points.
One problem that Monaco face nevertheless before this fixture, is the never ending list of injuries some of their squad members are suffering. With the likes of Adama Traore, Fabio Coentrao, Jao Moutinho and Raggi are all injured, Monaco will not be fielding their best squad to face Tottenham.
Subasic will be the first choice keeper, while their back four will consist of Wallance, Carvalho the regular right back Almamy Toure, and Elderson on the left. Carvalhoa s experience might come in handy after years of playing in the English first division.
However at his age (37), it might be difficult for him to keep up with the speedy youngsters playing for Tottenham. Bakayoko and Fabinho will be the chosen central defensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation as they will look to compensate for their lack of creativity in the middle of the park.
The three advanced midfield positions will be occupied by Stephan El Shaarawy on the left, Bernardo Silva in the middle, and Nabil Dirar on the right. Shaarawy who scored in the reverse fixture will be a dangerous inclusion for the French and will ensure he gives Trippier a torrid time. Ivorian Lancia Traore will be the lone striker who will look to use his height to his advantage from set pieces and corners.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1): Subasic; Toure, Carvalho, Wallance, Elderson; Bakayoko, Fabinho, Shaarawy, Bernardo Silva, Dirar; Traore;
Player to Watch
Ita s not too often that defenders are put under the limelight. However, Alderweireld has been exceptional for Tottenham in the last few games. Spurs have gone from a defense that conceded an unnecessary amount of goals to one of the best in the Premier League. This has mainly been due to the inclusion of a solid center back such as Alderweireld. A lot will depend on his ability to keep the French sidea s strikers quiet and fans can be sure he will deliver at home.
- The two sides have only met twice before, once for a friendly and the reverse fixture which was a draw
- Tottenham have not lost to a French club in their last 6 games
- Since beating Arsenal in the Champions league, Monaco have only one victory in all European Competitions
- Tottenham have a tournament low of just two yellow cards in this season of Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur 2 a 1 AS Monaco
Having lost only one game in the group stages, Tottenham will look to ensure they finish top of the group and redeem themselves for the 5-2 loss against Monaco in a friendly. With Tottenhama s current run of form, it will be hard for Monaco to overcome the pace and intensity with which Spurs will play especially at home.
Although Monacoa s chances of getting into the next stage will partly depend on their opponents Anderlecht loosing, they will ensure they do their part to gain all three points and will go ahead in the first half. However, Pochettinoa s tactical prowess will prove too much to handle and will ensure Spurs equalise as well as go on to win the game.