Saturday, March 25, 2023

Tottenham’s Trip To Moscow: 3 Key Battles That They Need To Win To Come Away With A Win

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs are yet to be beaten in the Premier League as they have made a superb start to the new season claiming the second place on the table after 6 games. However, the same cannot be said about their European campaign that started with a loss to AS Monaco at home. They will have a chance to go into the international break with a victory under his belt in Europe when his side travel to Russia for a tricky test against CSKA Moscow this mid-week in the group stage of the Champions League.

The manager will not be happy with anything less than a victory and will go with his best squad for this game. This game promises to provide some exciting action and here are three key battles that can decide its outcome.

Mario Fernandez vs Heung-Min Son

Spurs are missing the services of star striker Harry Kane but Heung-Min Son took up the goal scoring responsibilities in the Premier League this weekend. He will once again have to do the same in the Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

The South Korean international was at the top of his game, toying with Barragan from Middlesbrough on the left side of the attack. He will be up against an attack-minded right-back in Mario Fernandez this week and will hope to have a similar impact on the game. Fernandez must keep his attacking forays in check and will have to work hard to keep Son away from the penalty area. The 24-year old attacker is high on confidence and is a big threat and Moscow should make sure that he is well looked over.

Dele Alli vs Pontus Wernbloom

The England international was used in a withdrawn deeper role with the lack of options for Pochettino in the game at the weekend. But with the likes of Dembele and Dier ready to make a comeback into the squad, Alli will take up a more attacking role for this trip to Russia.

MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Calum Chambers of Middlesbrough holds off Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

He has looked decent in that role recently and will be a constant menace at the back for the home side in this game. Wernbloom, who has been a mainstay in the midfield for the Russian outfit, will have to make sure that he sticks to Alli, and gives him no space or time on the ball to make sure to soak up most of the pressure from the Tottenham side, sitting in front of the back four.

This battle in the middle of the park might be one that might stand out in this game.

Lacina Traore vs Toby Alderweireld

The Ivory Coast international, Lacina Traore, is fresh from a superb performance at the weekend for his side and will lead the attack for the Russian outfit in this Champions League encounter. He is a player who is gifted with nimble feet and exceptional technique and he can hurt the opposition if he is given space and time on the ball.

Spurs have been more than decent at the back this season, but playing away from home, they have to be strong at the back to get anything from this game. Alderweireld, who has had his nervy moment or two at the back for the side this season, will be in the spotlight while up against the Ivory Coast international. The duo will not have faced each other before and will be engaged in a battle that can decide the game.

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