A Tottenham Team To Play Limassol In Europa League?


Who will Mauricio Pochettino include in the Tottenham team to play Limassol in the Europa League play-off 1st leg match in Cyprus on Thursday evening?

The question of who to play in the Europa League games is always a difficult one to answer. With the second match of the Premier League season on Sunday against Queen’s Park Rangers at White Hart Lane, Pochettino will be anxious to avoid injury and ensure that everyone is 100 per cent ready for that challenge. Once again the Europa League has presented Spurs with a long flight, this time to Cyprus. The Head Coach will want to prevent the plague of dropped points after a Thursday evening European fixture afflicting his team in their first home match of the season.

Europa League is different now

The Head Coach will be aware that Limassol defeated Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit St. Petersburg team in their 1st leg match in the Champions League qualifying round before losing in Russia. He will endeavour to ensure Spurs don’t suffer an embarrassing defeat which would increase the pressure for the home leg next week. With the Europa League competition a route to the Champions League for the eventual winners, and as Pochettino admitted the competition takes on a greater significance this season.

Tottenham Team To Play Limassol

As a number of players have yet to play any matches in pre-season, this game could be useful to give them some game time ahead of more testing opposition. A number of the World Cup players could play either from the start or from the bench later in the game. Other players are returning to fitness after injury and if ready this game could be used as part of their recovery.


Tottenham submitted a squad to UEFA for this round of the Europa League which didn’t include Michel Vorm. The choice of goalkeepers is between Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel. To avoid any chance of injury to Lloris who is of such importance to Spurs, I would select Friedel who with all his experience is capable of producing another performance even at 43 years of age.


With Kyle Naughton missing next weekend’s game through suspension as Spurs haven’t appealed the decision, I would play him at right-back. Ben Davies who has had little time on the pitch since joining Tottenham should be given the chance to challenge Danny Rose for the left-back position. In central defence Jan Vertonghen needs some match practice so he should start and to avoid any unnecessary injuries to Younes Kaboul or Eric Dier, I’d use Michael Dawson.


It is in midfield that Pochettino has a number of players who have had no match practice. Before they will be ready to step up to the demands of games in the Premier League they need a chance to build up their match fitness. Mousa Dembele, Paulinho and Nacer Chadli should get some time on the pitch to improve fitness levels but also to demonstrate whether they are capable of playing in the style that Pochettino envisages Spurs playing this season. Sandro is another player needing game time if Pochettino sees a future for him at White Hart Lane.

#476128239 / gettyimages.com

If fit I would select Dembele and Sandro with Paulinho, Andros Townsend and Lewis Holtby. Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela could be rested ahead of Sunday’s game.

More from Europa League


I would play Roberto Soldado as he needs the opportunity of game time to sharpen his skills and keep up his fitness levels. With Emmanuel Adebayor the first choice for the League games, Soldado needs to show in the European games whether he is going to rediscover his goalscoring form.

I would select the following Tottenham team to play Limassol:

Team: Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Sandro; Holtby, Paulinho, Townsend; Soldado

This is a Tottenham team capable of producing a result against Limassol and allowing other players to rest and prepare for the QPR game.

Follow HotspurHQ on Twitter: @HotspurHQ