Tottenham Hotspur resume their Europa League campaign with a trip to Fiorentina – who knocked them out of last year’s competition – for the first leg of their last-32 tie.
Spurs are flying high in second in the Premier League, two points adrift of leaders Leicester City after Sunday’s win at Manchester City, but Mauricio Pochettino now has the difficult task of juggling his squad for two different cup competitions, and their title challenge.
The Lilywhites host London rivals Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup this weekend. How will Pochettino balance his team selection for the visit to Italy?
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GK: Hugo Lloris*
Will start in Florence before making way to give Michel Vorm a game in the FA Cup.
*Lloris has since been ruled out with a minor shoulder injury – as The Guardian reports – so Vorm will start tonight.
RB: Kieran Trippier
Pochettino rotates his full-backs freely during busy weeks and Trippier will come in for Kyle Walker.
CB: Toby Alderweireld
If the Belgian is going to get a rest this week, it is more likely to come when Palace visit on Sunday.
CB: Kevin Wimmer
Passed a big test against Manchester City and faces another one against the free-scoring Italians.
LB: Ben Davies
Was unlucky to miss out at the Etihad Stadium, although Danny Rose had a fantastic game.
CM: Eric Dier
Regardless of Tottenham’s schedule, the defensive midfielder is one of the first names on the team sheet.
CM: Tom Carroll
Mousa Dembele is one of the Tottenham players who needs his workload managing carefully. Tom Carroll is likely to get the nod over Nabil Bentaleb or Ryan Mason to give the Belgian a breather.
AMR: Erik Lamela
Had a huge impact off the bench against City as he supplied Eriksen with the winning goal. Tottenham’s leading Europa League scorer this term will be rewarded with a start ahead of Son Heung-Min.
AMC: Dele Alli
Similarly to Alderweireld, the England international is more likely to be rested against Crystal Palace than against Fiorentina, as Pochettino goes all-out to get a positive first-leg result.
AML: Christian Eriksen
Nacer Chadli is on standby if Pochettino wants to rest either Eriksen or Harry Kane, but the match-winner at Eastlands is more suited to Europe than the hustle and bustle of a London derby.
ST: Harry Kane
Tottenham’s failure to buy a striker in January means that Kane faces a mighty slog between now and May, should Spurs remain in all three competitions, increasing his chances of getting injured.
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