Mauricio Pochettino has selected his first Tottenham team for his debut as a manager in a European competition. The Europa League holds greater importance this season with its promise of a place in the Champions League for the eventual winners so Tottenham want to avoid any early slip-ups.
Having left 5 of Saturday’s winning team in London Pochettino clearly intended to rotate the players and take the opportunity to give a game to those who haven’t played so far this season.
Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue, Christian Eriksen, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor did not travel. Neither did Kyle Walker or Vlad Chiriches due to injury.
In the Squad:
In the party in Cyprus are all of the players who returned late from the World Cup – Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho plus Nabil Bentaleb who has played in both of the last two games.
Having delayed their return to the team to ensure their fitness was as Pochettino and his staff wanted, it will be an opportunity for those players to show the manager that they can fit into the style of play he envisages for Tottenham.
As Tottenham have such a large squad, there is great competition for places in the team and every player will want to take whatever opportunity presents itself to prove their value to the new manager. It’s a new start for everyone.
Lloris. Naughton, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies. Bentaleb, Paulinho; Holtby, Townsend, Kane, Soldado
Subs: Friedel, Dawson, Rose, Chadli, Dembele, Sandro, Lamela
Hugo Lloris captains the Tottenham team which shows 7 changes from the team which started the game at Upton Park. Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho return with Ben Davies starting at left-back. Roberto Soldado is the lone striker with Harry Kane playing behind him, along with Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend. Bentaleb and Paulinho are in central midfield.
It is a strong team and one which should get the win Tottenham are wanting.