Match Preview: Spurs vs Sporting Lisbon; team news, prediction, lineup etc.)
After two defeats, we need to get back on track and show our fans that our previous blips are just that, blips.
Against Sporting Libson, we will aim to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League. We are at the top of Group D and will advance to the knockout stages with a win against Sporting Lisbon.
The Portuguese club sit in third, just one point under us.
If we win, we can take a breather against Marseille. A draw could mean we could finish second, enough to clinch our place in the next round (knockout stages); a defeat means it will be all to play for in France, and we don’t want that!
We were delighted that Woolwich dropped points against Southampton just before our kick-off against the Arab’s Newcastle United. Sadly, we couldn’t close the gap on the Mugswampers as we lost back-to-back games for the first time since February (that was against the two United’s).
Only 90 minutes separates us from a place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign. We are sitting at the top of Group D, with seven points; however, if we lose and Frankfurt beat the French club, we could end up bottom of the league.
Defeat by the Arab money bags Newcastle ended a 10-game winning run for us in front of our fans; nevertheless, we have scored in all our home games this season. Also, we haven’t drawn a home fixture in the Champions League since March 2011.
A lack of discipline in their two encounters with Marseille had seen Sporting lose their grip on a top-two place – first, and it was Antonio Adan’s red card on matchday four, then Pedro Goncalves and Ricardo Esgaio were given their marching orders in a 2-0 loss to Les Olympiens last time out. Hopefully, we can rattle them enough that they lose their cool and end up throwing the rattle out of their playpen.
Back-to-back defeats to the French club have seen them drop to third place in Group D, and collapse on Wednesday could spell the end of their hopes of making the knockout rounds if Marseille beat the German team. Even if Sporting win, there is still work to be done on the final matchday to guarantee a top-two place.
Tottenham Hotspur Champions League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
Sporting Lisbon Champions League form:
Sporting Lisbon form (all competitions):
Dejan Kulusevski (hamstring) nor Richarlison (calf) will be fit for Wednesday, and there are now fears that the former will not be available again before the World Cup.
We were also forced to make do without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (thigh) and Cristian Romero (calf) for the visit of Newcastle. Still, both players should be in contention to return, and the former is one of three players who are one booking away from a European ban alongside Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur.
Lucas Moura is still being carefully watched over after a tendon injury.
Conte has affirmed that a heavy midfield formation is a way forward for the time being, and changes in other areas could see Ivan Perisic come back.
My possible starting line-up:
Lloris; Sanchez, Romero, Lenglet; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Bissouma, Perisic; Kane, Son
As for a prediction; in the last couple of game, I’ve got it wildly wrong; however, I don’t want to go for a loss or draw, so I’ll make it 3-1 to us. I’ve got to be right sometimes.
We could do well to take advantage of Sporting’s significantly reduced defence this week, especially given our penchant for goals at home. Beyond that, I am nervous. What we don’t want is three defeats in a row.
We started the season so positively, and in two consecutive games, we turned up as if we didn’t have a clue… too much back-passing, no creativity, and no ideas in front of the opposition’s goal mouth. It wasn’t as if the two United’s were a better side, it was just that we were that poor.
We are considered one of the top six sides in the English Premier League, and this was proved when we reached the Champions League in 2018, losing out to Liverpool; sadly, since then, everything has gone pear shape. Why?
To be considered a top-six club, we must invest more in the transfer market. Our transfer policy over the years has hampered our club.
The transfers that we have made over the past couple of seasons haven’t had the kind of impact on the team that we wanted. Take Tanguy Ndombele; he has been the most expensive flop in our history.
Overdependence on Kane and Son, with no good backups. Eventually, they will burn themselves out or suffer injuries. We need proper backup… we hope Richarlson will be part of that backup…
Harry Kane and Son are the most dangerous attacking duos out there, but they are getting older and will eventually suffer from injuries. Plus, they need support, which they are not always getting.
The defensive Failures. We have been one of the sides known to leak goals. Our lack of effectiveness in the defence has caused us trouble. We had the best centre-back partnership with Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwield, but injuries and letting go of the former has led to us becoming a very shaky defence. Improving our defensive stability is an essential step to building our team in the future.
Not backing the manager. If Pochettino had been properly backed, we probably wouldn’t be in this position now. A similar situation has been witnessed with Jose Mourinho. He had a brilliant start to the current season but was sacked for an inconsistent run of games. He led us to a Carabao Cup final, before which he was sacked. We need to make sure that the board back the manager till the very end. Only then can we expect some positive results in the coming years.
Maybe now is different… or it will be different. With rumours of a company like Google backing us (naming rights!) and a rumoured big pay rise for Conte, maybe Levy and Lewis are starting to buck their ideas up. Either that, or just be an also run… with players and coaches leaving a sinking ship… then there are the fans… today, supporters seem to be fickler than they used to be, so they could easily tear up their season tickets and jump to safer ground if we don’t start producing results. But hopefully, it won’t come to that, and Levy and Lewis will see the writing on the wall before it is too late.
Up the Spurs!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
My other interests are; reading, history, social history, Politics, going to the gym, wine, going out for a meal, music (all sorts), writing, theatre, concerts, going on holidays, socialising etc.
I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
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