If you’re excited to see some of Tottenham’s inexperienced youth get a crack in the Champions League tonight you’re certainly not alone, but you might want to temper your expectations a smidgen.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Serge Aurier haven’t made the trip to Germany, all being left at home to rest up for the weekend’s Premier League match at Wolves on Sunday. Most of us, when Spurs and Bayern confirmed their places in the knockout phase after Match Day 5, expected this type of eventuality.
The Evening Standard reports that Kane is frustrated not to have made the journey to Munich. Again, an expected outcome for a player vying for the tournament’s Golden Boot. But Jose Mourinho has made the right call in leaving some of his key players in north London.
And while seeing a selection Ryan Sessegnon, Juan Foyth, Kyle Walker-Peters, Troy Parrott, Giovani Lo Celso is an exciting prospect, remember just how difficult a contest this promises to be.
Like Tottenham, Bayern will rest most key players for this experimental European tie. But make no mistake, this match will provide a tough test regardless of who the home side leaves on the bench. Historically, the Allianz Arena has proven to be a fortress for the German champions.
They haven’t started particularly well at home this season, though. Bayern has lost two of their seven league matches at the Allianz Stadium, dropping eight of 21 points on home soil. That alone provides boundless hope for Spurs’ youngsters and fringe players, who will hope to make a sound impression on their first big European test.
Just make sure to temper your expectations, as a few of the players we’ll see today haven’t tasted this type of away European atmosphere before. They’d be forgiven for becoming overawed or overwhelmed in the intense, confounding environment.
Then again, youthful exuberance often facilitates fearless, brazen behaviour. They have nothing to lose and you can be damn sure they’ll leave everything on the pitch for tonight’s intriguing Champions League affair.