Nice problems to have with a mostly fit squad and an abundance of options. Let me state the obvious: this is a big game. Not only for the reintroduction of Spurs onto club football’s brightest stage, not only for the first inkling of just what the Wembley experience might be for the next two seasons, but for the simplest reason of all: if Spurs hope to play more than three home games at Wembley this campaign, a win over Monaco would be very advisable.
And given that the Riviera side was arguably the toughest in Pot Four and is already in strong form in Ligue 1, top of zee table, three points are hardly a given. There might be some sense of reward that the manager might wish to impart to last year’s regulars, but that should be accompanied by the realities of this season (and the apparent tougher task to repeat a Top Four finish) and the knowledge that many of his key charges have already played at Wembley for England or in the 2015 League Cup final vs. Chelsea.
So Poch — what do you want to do?
Keeper: Hugo is your captain. He is showing no ill effects of the groin injury he suffered against Everton. And what would it show young Lopez if Vorm got the plum task between the posts of our first Champions League game? LLORIS
Back Four: I am presuming that the one question mark in terms of fitness is Rose. Rest him to either face his former side in Sunderland or even for another week. I think the Belgian waffles were hardly tested today and need to provide the anchor in the middle. Trippier could play next Sunday if Walker needs a spell. As is: DAVIES, VERTONGHEN, ALDERWEIRELD AND WALKER
Holding Midfield: Mousa Dembele is finally available. According to some metrics he was our best player last year. He plays. Sit Wanyama and play one of our Englishmen at Wembley. DEMBELE AND DIER
Attacking Midfield: Erik Lamela started on the bench on Saturday because he had come from South America just 48 hours before kickoff after playing most of Argentina’s qualifier at Venezuela. Son stepped nicely into the breach. Moussa Sissoko had his first taste of action in a Spurs shirt today. But Alli and Eriksen were both clicking nicely today and, again, this game matters. Go with your set best three—again Sunderland might be the right time to play the former Geordie and have the Son rise again. LAMELA, ALLI AND ERIKSEN
Striker: This is actually my only real hesitation and also where I am not sure about the manager’s mindset. Do you take that final goal today and try to further a hot Kane hand? Or do you give him one of the only real opportunities for a break, knowing there will be trips to Germany and Moscow ahead where he may have to play? I have a hunch it will be JANSSEN.
The nice thing is that I could have typed five or six different names and our prospects for success would still be good. It will not be some Group Stage Europa pushover—but I fancy Spurs to initiate the Wembley experience in style—call it 3-1.
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