I’m sure Michel Vorm will be between the sticks – Luke M might be on the bench though?
A weak cuppa thanks
Another cup tie means another understrength team, though this one will be more enforced than chosen by Pochettino.
Since the final whistle at Middle Eastlands we have lost Hugo, Dembélé and (probably) Kane thus when we take the field tonight at WHL, in the return leg against Fiorentina, we will be missing three quarters of our spine and arguably our three most important players, though Toby and Alli would have good cases to argue against that. Still, thankfully all the wounds appear to be relatively minor and Lloris and Harry should be back for the weekend hopefully.
A stab at selection
The reported absence of Kane means that we’ll be starting with Chadli, Son and maybe Alli trying to fill the hole where Harry should be. This is undoubtedly what would’ve happened whether Kane had taken a bang to the face against Palace or not given that he played the full ninety minutes on Sunday. In midfield Mason may be given another start alongside Dier with Lamela and maybe Onomah playing as what passes for wide players in our formation these days. Alderweireld will come in to partner Wimmer with Trippier and Davies taking their turns at full back. That’s my guess (as you can tell by all the ‘maybe’s, ‘probably’s and ‘hopefully’s) but as it only really leaves Eriksen as having a rest, something Poch will want to improve on, Bentaleb may come in for Dier.
Fiorentina won 3-2 at Atalanta at the weekend so will be high on morale and high in expectation that they can still make it through the tie despite being underdogs after our draw in the first leg in Florence. They have big league games coming up next week (Napoli and Roma, 2nd and 4th – they are third) though so may too be tempted to rest some of their big hitters in readiness for more ‘important’ domestic action but they still have enough quality players and are tactically astute enough to cause us damage. They may have scored with a deflection last week but they also missed a couple of sitters.
Clean sheet please
The Italians need a win or a high scoring draw to go through, we just need to hold our nerve, defend solidly and pick up a goal or two if we can. The tie is, as they like to say, finely balanced but if we don’t go through then we probably don’t deserve to go much further in the competition anyway.
The match officials are from Romania.
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