Tottenham Hotspur were back to winning ways in the Champions League as they ended the group stage of the competition, with a solid 3-0 victory over group minnows APOEL Nicosia earlier this week. They will hope to keep up their form when they welcome Mark Hughes’ Stoke City side to Wembley this weekend.
The Potters are fresh from a victory over Swansea City and will look to make full use of the dip in form of the home side. Spurs have struggled to beat teams that play similar to the hosts in this tie and will not find it easy to steal all three points. However, Pochettino is expected to go with his strongest side and here is the predicted he might field for this tie:
Midfielder Victor Wanyama is back in training but this game comes too soon for him to be a part of. He will be accompanied on the sidelines by defender Toby Alderweireld, who is out for a long time. Davinson Sanchez remains the only other absentee from this tie, as he will serve the first of his three-match ban in this tie.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Hugo Lloris remains Pochettino’s first choice under the bar for his side and the French ace will hope to have a quiet game this weekend. With Alderweireld and Sanchez unavailable, the manager is forced into playing a four-man backline for this game.
While Jan Vertonghen remains their only available centre-back, Eric Dier, the versatile midfielder, should partner him at the back. Kieran Trippier should be preferred over Serge Aurier in the domestic league while Ben Davies is expected to keep his place in the side, with Rose only finding a place on the bench.
With Dier playing in the backline, Pochettino has had to use the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks to partner Belgian playmaker Mousa Dembele in the middle of the park for his side. The 30-year old will definitely start this game and might be partnered by young Winks, who adds a bit of more balance to the side.
Harry Kane was rested for the game in the mid-week in Europe but he should be reinstated in attack, to lead the line for Spurs. He should be accompanied by Dele Alli, who also had a productive game, Christian Eriksen, who was also rested for the game against Nicosia and Heung Min-Son, who scored a screamer in that game.
Up against the likes of Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross and Kevin Wimmer, they will not find it easy to run away with all three points.
Here is how they might line up:
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