Familiar Names for Tottenham Hotspur Group Stage Opening XI

Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ALEX PANTLING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur, Jose Mourinho (Photo by ALEX PANTLING/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Joe Hart and Davinson Sanchez of Tottenham
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: Joe Hart and Davinson Sanchez of Tottenham (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Spurs Goalkeeper and Defenders

Joe Hart (GK) – Based on what we saw in the qualifying matches, Joe Hart is going to get his chance in some of the competitions this season and right now Europa League is the secondary competition to the Premier League, so Hart gets the nod here. While there may be some debate about whether three keepers should be on the team sheet, no debate about who the top two are in Hart and Captain Hugo Lloris.

Matt Doherty (RB) – After Serge Aurier started on Sunday in Premier League, it should be Matt Doherty’s turn to get a run out. Unless Mourinho is planning on having them play a week and then sit a week, rotating between games makes the most sense. Aurier was sound in his last outing but did commit the foul that ultimately led to the tying goal, not that it would be a reason to sit him, but something to think about psychologically for the team.

Davinson Sanchez (CB) – Davinson Sanchez is the one known entity in the starting line-up for LASK, after Jose Mourinho’s pre-match presser. Mourinho is using all his nous to build up his defender who is likely a bit shaken following his rough outing on Sunday versus West Ham. Besides the own goal, Sanchez had some shaky moments clearing the ball, but this game should be what he needs to get right again.

Toby Alderweireld (CB) – With both Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga sidelined due to injury and Joe Rodon not in the squad, the options at center half are limited for the team. We get the same two we saw versus West Ham, but this time Toby plays on the left of the pair and Sanchez on the right. This is just the better-balanced use of the two, despite what Toby may prefer.

Ben Davies (LB) – Sergio Reguilón has been good since joining Spurs, assisting both Erik Lamela and Harry Kane. The assist to Kane was a thing of beauty. However, Reguilón played on Sunday and it is Ben Davies turn. While Davies could take the role of the left-sided center-half next to Davinson Sanchez to give Toby some rest, my guess is he plays in his preferred left back position.