Without a win in two Premier League matches, Tottenham will be looking to finish the Europa League group stages on a high when they travel to Turkey to face a tough Besiktas side, who will be missing their key striking asset Demba Ba, the attacker out with a broken toe. Besiktas need a win to top the group, whilst Spurs only need a point to progress as group winners. The last time these two met was in the reverse fixture when a late Vlad Chiriches handball resulted in Demba Ba converting from the spot to earn a 1-1 draw. Here is the Tottenham team news and predicted line-up.
Emmanuel Adebayor is the only player who is out for sure after he was allowed to return home on compassionate leave, he will be out for a few weeks. Kyle Walker could make his return after not playing since 13th March. Vlad Chiriches, who gave away the late penalty in the reverse fixture, is a doubt along with Etienne Capoue and Andros Townsend, who could all face late fitness tests. Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Kyle Naughton and Christian Eriksen will all be rested.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm:
I think that we just need to give Vorm some minutes and some playing experience for us. With Brad Friedel not in the squad and Luke McGee not really in the first-team picture, this is a great time for Vorm to start ahead of Lloris, who faces a busy schedule over the festive period.
Defence: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Vlad Chiriches, Ben Davies:
With Kyle Naughton rested for this match, Kyle Walker could well make his first start in nine months. Walker has been getting back to full fitness after he was injured in March, and underwent abdominal surgery early this season. Jan Vertonghen has been in a good run of form, so should get a start as we do not want to concede too many to keep our bid of topping the group alive. Vlad Chiriches has also been playing well and could get a start in his natural position.
Midfield (Holding): Benjamin Stambouli, Mousa Dembele:
It is safe to say that Mauricio Pochettino will not be fielding a very attacking line-up and will most likely be reverting to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, and having to men in front of the defence, and I feel that these two are the perfect men to occupy these positions.
Midfield (Attacking): Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Erik Lamela:
Whilst it has not quite clicked in the Premier League, in cup competitions, Erik Lamela’s form is quite good. I expect he will get another run out with Europa League regular Paulinho. Nacer Chadli has missed the last few games, and this will be a good game to ease him back into ahead of a very busy festive period.
Striker: Roberto Soldado:
This is about the only position that I can confirm. Soldado is the only travelling striker as Harry Kane is rested and Emmanuel Adebayor is on compassionate leave. This is a good game for Soldado to build on that goal that he got a couple of weeks ago against Everton at the end of November.