Tottenham vs Monaco: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Tottenham will be playing their home matches in the Champions League at Wembley, due to the work having been started on the White Hart Lane site ahead of their more to a new stadium at the beginning of the 2018-19 season. It will be interesting to see how they deal with playing at England’s national stadium, with the men on the field possibly being overawed by the stage on which they are performing. Tickets have sold well and the atmosphere should be good for all three matches in the group stage. Their draw wasn’t easy, but they should be aiming to reach the next round.
The first side to come to Wembley is AS Monaco, who were one of the toughest fourth seeds in the draw. They have started their league season in great form and sit top of Ligue 1 after four matches. In order to qualify for the group stages, they had to overcome Villarreal in the play-off, which they managed to do in impressive fashion, winning both legs.
Mauricio Pochettino has never managed in the Champions League before and it will be a new challenge for him. In the past, he has been known to rotate for Europa League fixtures, but he will have to take this competition a lot more seriously. There has been investment in the squad over the last few months, which has increased the competition in the squad. Spurs have arguably the most talent in Group E and the pressure will be on them to qualify for the knockout rounds.
The home side have started the season in great form, picking up eight points from four matches. Although their performances during August weren’t great, they were still managing to pick up points, which is encouraging for Pochettino. On Saturday, they convincingly beat Stoke City away from home and Harry Kane scored his first for the season, putting them in great spirits ahead of the match against Monaco.
Monaco have won five of their six matches in all competitions, including an impressive victory over Ligue 1 holders PSG. During their last two matches, they have scored seven goals, which shows the attacking threat that they pose. At the other end, they haven’t looked as good and goals could be on the cards this weekend.
Erik Lamela is likely to come back in for the first match of the Champions League and could replace Dele Alli in the starting eleven. Son Heung-min played well enough to retain his place. There is a possibility that Michel Vorm could come back in after his impressive performances in August, but I’d expect Hugo Lloris to start.
Monaco have a talented squad and I’d expect them to play a similar side to the one that started against Lille. Bernardo Silva is the danger man in the side and he will start in the number ten role. Radamel Falcao is available, but is probably going to start from the bench.
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Danny Rose remains on the injury list for Tottenham, which means that Ben Davies will continue at left back. Mousa Dembele could come into the squad after his Premier League suspension, but is unlikely to start.
Monaco will be without defender Benjamin Mendy, but he is their only major injury concern. Radamel Falcao came on for the last 25 minutes against Lille and is expected to feature again on Wednesday.
Tottenham played very well against Stoke on Saturday, but they are coming up against a good side on Wednesday. Nobody wanted to draw Monaco, who were seen as one of the best fourth seeds and they will be full of confidence after their start to the season. I think there will be goals in this match, but a draw looks to be the most likely result, unfortunately for Tottenham supporters.
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