Monaco vs Tottenham: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Spurs may be the only unbeaten side in the Premier League, but they have all their work still ahead of them to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages. ‘Home’ defeats to Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley have done serious damage to Tottenham’s chances of progression, and they travel to the Principality in need of a victory. Technically speaking, this is not quite a ‘must-win’ game for Mauricio Pochettino’s side; they are only two points behind second placed Leverkusen with two games remaining. In practice however, the German side are favourites to beat CSKA Moscow so Spurs will more than likely need a win to keep pace.
Monaco are serial offenders when it comes to upsetting English clubs; knocking out Manchester United in 1997, Chelsea in the 2004 semi-finals and Arsenal at the last-16 stage in 2015. Leonardo Jardim’s side are a well balanced mix of experience and youth, with old stagers such as Radamel Falcao and Joao Moutinho and exciting up-and-comers like Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar on their books.
Spurs 3-2 win over West Ham was their first win in eight games across all competitions, but they sit just a point behind fierce rivals Arsenal and a place in the top four. Goals from open play have been difficult to come by in recent weeks, but Harry Kane has made a welcome return from an ankle injury and bagged a brace on Saturday. Monaco are going well in Ligue 1, averaging three goals a game and sitting in second. They lead this group on eight points and look set to qualify for the knockout-stages.
Spurs starting XI
Injuries and Suspensions
Tottenham are without Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela, all of whom are due back in early December. The hosts are without holding midfielders Moutinho and Nabil Dirar as well as Almamy Traore because of injury.
Monaco’s home record in Europe is extremely good; they have lost only two of the last 19 Champions League games at the Louis-II Stadium and have kept five clean sheets in their last seven games there in the competition. Dirar and Moutinho will be missed at the base of their midfield, but Brazilian full back Fabinho has reinvented himself this season as a central midfielder. Moutinho’s dexterity and close control will be missed against a pressing side like Spurs; the Portuguese playmaker is one of the most underrated in Europe at getting out of tight spaces and keeping the ball.
Pochettino’s side stifled Arsenal extremely well at the Emirates using their new 3-4-1-2 system and will have to stop a free scoring Monaco side. Silva and Lemar caused the Lilywhites plenty of problems at Wembley, but the deployment of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker as wing backs might force them back a touch. Heung Min Son should come back in the side at the expense of Vincent Janssen, and his pace is ideal for a European away game. Spurs know they need a win in the south of France, and we’re backing them to do so.
Verdict: Away Win
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