Tottenham host Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on Thursday at White Hart Lane, in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie. Spurs lost 1-0 in Ukraine in the first leg and have a difficult task against Juande Ramos’ side. But the Tottenham manager, Tim Sherwood, is expected to rotate again, to keep his starters fresh for the battle for Champions League qualification.
Three days after the defeat in Ukraine, Spurs lost 1-0 at Norwich City and the team fell six points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, so they need their best players fit for the last 11 eleven matches of the league season. Sherwood has preferred the 4-1-4-1 formation in the last matches and could stick to it once again for the visit of the Ukrainians.
Hugo Lloris is the starting goalkeeper for Spurs in the Premier League, but Tim Sherwood used Brad Friedel in the first leg, while the veteran keeper played another three matches in the group stage, so he could be called again.
There is little room for tinkering in defence, and the back four of recent matches could remain the same, with Kyle Naughton on the right, Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen in the centre of defence and Danny Rose on the left. Central defenders Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches, are nursing injuries, and regular right back Kyle Walker should sit out this match too.
The big news here is the return of Sandro. The ‘’Beast’’, as Spurs fans call him, missed the last 14 matches through injury, but returned to full training lately and he could start as the guard of the back four, replacing Ettiene Capoue, who has injury problems. The duo of Nabil Bentaleb and Paulinho should start once again in midfield, while Nacer Chadli could claim a place on the left. Andros Townsend will probably start as right midfielder with Aaron Lennon taking a breather. Gylfi Sigurdsson is once again out, while Mousa Dembele is expected to be rested as well. Christian Eriksen is an alternative for Sherwood either in midfield or in the wide positions.
Sherwood put his trust in Roberto Soldado in Ukraine, with the Spaniard missing a sitter, showing once again his lack of confidence. It could be a risk, though, starting with Emmanuel Adebayor, because if he gets injured in Europe, Spurs could not replace his goals in the league, so Soldado should get the nod once again, with Harry Kane as an alternative.
Probable line-up (4-1-4-1): Friedel; Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Sandro; Townsend, Paulinho, Bentaleb, Chadli; Soldado