In the Champions League match that will take place on Wednesday in North London, Tottenham Hotspur will be hosting Sporting Lisbon with the goals of advancing further in the competition and avoiding a situation similar to one that occurred in previous years.
While the team managed by Antonio Conte is still in first place in their group and will proceed to the knockout stages with a victory tonight, Sporting CP is currently in third place, only one point behind its morale-deflating hosts.
Our Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Sporting Lisbon
Tottenham supporters must have been licking their lips with glee when Arsenal dropped points at Southampton just before their game against Newcastle United kicked off, but Antonio Conte’s side was unable to close the gap on their bitter rivals as they suffered back-to-back losses in the Premier League for the first time since February.
Hugo Lloris made a mistake that allowed Callum Wilson to score the game’s first goal. There were numerous unsuccessful calls for a foul on the French goalkeeper, but they went unanswered.
The red-hot Miguel Almiron then finished with aplomb before Harry Kane scored a consolation goal with a header. Hugo Lloris was so often their savior against Manchester United.
Only ninety minutes stand between Tottenham and a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2019-20 season.
The absence of attacking players is having a significant impact on the Lilywhites, and Antonio Conte has already dashed any hopes his team had of challenging for the Premier League title. However, Tottenham is only a few minutes away from a place in the Champions League knockout stages.
Currently leading the group with seven points, Tottenham will guarantee that they cannot be displaced by their Portuguese opponents or Eintracht Frankfurt with a victory here; but, if outcomes do not go their way, they might conclude the matchday in third place if things do not go their way.
The loss to Newcastle ended a 10-game winning run for Tottenham in front of their fans; however, they have scored in every one of their home games so far this season. Not many bets should be placed on the sides sharing the points here, as Spurs have not played a home fixture in the Champions League that ended in a draw since March of 2011.
There is hardly ever a week that goes by without Sporting manager Ruben Amorim being linked to a new job.
It is believed that Aston Villa is the latest club to show interest in the up-and-coming Portuguese, but for the time being, he is solely focused on making lightning strikes twice against Tottenham.
First, it was Antonio Adan’s red card on matchday four, and then Pedro Goncalves and Ricardo Esgaio were given their marching orders in a 2-0 loss to Les Olympiens last time out.
These indiscretions caused Sporting to lose their hold on a top-two place, which led to their elimination from playoff contention.
Amorim’s team is now in the third position in Group D after suffering consecutive losses to the French contenders. If they suffer another loss on Wednesday, their chances of advancing to the knockout stages would be eliminated if Marseille is victorious against Frankfurt.
Even if Sporting were to win in North London, there is still work to be done on the last matchday to ensure a spot in the top two of the standings.
Sporting returned to form with a 3-1 victory over Casa Pia at the weekend, as they sought to bounce back from their shocking exit from the Taca de Portugal to third-tier side Varzim.
However, a seven-game run without a clean sheet is not what the doctor ordered before a trip to North London.
Despite this, the Portuguese powerhouses have fond memories of their 2-0 victory over Tottenham on September 13.
Paulinho and Arthur Gomes scored quickfire goals in the dying embers of the match, and former Tottenham youngster Marcus Edwards will undoubtedly be motivated to put in another effervescent display upon his return to the English capital.
Our Team News: Tottenham Hotspur vs Sporting Lisbon
Even though Conte has previously admitted that neither Dejan Kulusevski (hamstring) nor Richarlison (calf) will be fit for Wednesday’s match, there are now concerns that the former may not be available again before the World Cup.
Spurs were also without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (thigh) and Cristian Romero (calf) for the visit to Newcastle, but both players should be in contention to return from their fatigue-related issues here.
Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur are the other two players who are one booking away from being banned from playing in Europe.
Conte has reaffirmed that a midfield-heavy formation is a way forward for the time being, and changes in other areas could result in Ivan Perisic returning to action.
This is the case despite the presence of Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura, the latter of whom is still being carefully monitored after suffering a tendon injury.
Esgaio and Goncalves will serve their bans with coach Carlos Fernandes, who was also sent a red card on matchday four. Sporting’s number one goalkeeper, Adan, will now assume his proper spot in goal.
In the absence of Goncalves, it is expected that Paulinho will make his first start of the season in the Champions League alongside Edwards and Francisco Trincao. On the other hand, Pedro Porro’s position on the right side of the field will remain unaffected by Esgaio’s absence.
In addition to Daniel Braganca (cruciate ligament) and Luis Neto (knee), Amorim has said that Sebastian Coates will not be able to play against Tottenham because of his knee injury.
Jose Marsa, who is just 20 years old, should get the starting nod at the back since Jeremiah St. Juste’s hamstring issue has not yet been resolved.
- Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup: Lloris; Sanchez, Romero, Lenglet; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Bissouma, Perisic; Kane, Son
- Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup: Adan; Inacio, Marsa, Reis; Porro, Ugarte, Morita, Santos; Trincao, Edwards; Paulinho
Our Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Sporting Lisbon
It would behoove Tottenham to take advantage of Sporting’s significantly reduced defense this week, particularly given their propensity for goals at home; however, it is difficult to back Conte’s side with any real confidence as long as Kulusevski is not there to pick the lock.
Tottenham would do well to take advantage of Sporting’s significantly reduced defense this week.
Sporting’s own attacking prowess will be taken down a notch without leading goalscorer and leading assister Goncalves but barring any more moments of madness from Amorim’s side, we can envision a low-scoring stalemate as Tottenham shares the points in Europe’s premier competition for the first time in over a decade.
Sporting’s attacking prowess will be taken down a notch without leading goalscorer and leading assister Gonca