On September 14th, Tottenham will host Monaco as they begin their respective Champions League journey’s. The two teams will be facing off at Wembley Stadium as opposed to Spurs’ usual home of White Hart Lane. Having already sold out Wembley, Spurs will still likely have a substantial home advantage.
Spurs are coming off an emphatic 4-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend. After dropping points in two of their first three matches, Spurs were back to their dominant best at the Bet365 Stadium powered by a brace from Heung-min Son.
Monaco are coming off big win of their own. Their weekend fixture saw them travel to Lille and come out 4-1 victors. After their win over reigning champions PSG in the previous match day, Monaco have gone top of the table with their result.
Both teams should be going into this with mostly fit squads. Tottenham’s only injury concern is Danny Rose as he recovers from an injury picked up on England duty, according to physioroom.com.
Monaco have a few more injury issues, but will still have quite a strong squad. Both Daniel Subasic and Benjamin Mendy could miss out with thigh injuries. Thomas Lemar has returned to training, but his status for the match is unknown, according to the Monaco team website.
These two sides faced off against each other in the group stage of last years Europa League. Tottenham won their home match 4-1 while the two sides drew 1-1 in the away leg. The last time Monaco played an English team in the Champions League they beat Tottenham’s rivals Arsenal over two legs on away goals in 2014. Neither of the two clubs have lost any of their opening matches. In Monaco’s Champions League qualifier, they were able to beat Villareal in both of the two legs, showing they can win away from home in Europe.
Tottenham: Erik Lamela
Tottenham’s squad is built on a core of young growing talent. One of those big talents is Erik Lamela. The Argentine struggled severely when he initially came to England. After Tottenham payed 30m for him, he came with big expectations, but failed to live up to the billing in his first two seasons. He nearly left the club on deadline day of 2015, but he Mauricio Pochettino blocked his move to Marseille and he went on to break out last season. Now he’s looking to take the next step and has started the season well. He scored the only goal in the team’s opening day fixture and after he was subbed on at the weekend Spurs scored two goals in the next fie minutes.
Monaco: Bernardo Silva
Monaco have a number of players capable of breaking down defenses, but one that stands out is Bernardo Silva. Last season only Joao Moutinho played more key passes per 90 minutes than the 22 year old. He is also a great dribbler, no Monaco player completed more take ons than the Portuguese midfielder last season, and that is crucial for cutting through Tottenham’s press.
Like the rest of this group, this will likely be a tight contest. Ultimately, Tottenham probably have the better squad and are at home. As we’ve seen, Monaco can do some damage against North London teams in the Champions League, but Spurs should have enough to win this.
Prediction: 2-1 Tottenham