Tottenham will be hoping that they can finally start producing in the Champions League as they are in danger of being knocked out at the first hurdle. They are facing a trip to face Monaco on Tuesday night, a side that beat them at Wembley during matchweek one, therefore they will need to put in a good performance to secure the three points. Their opponents currently sit top of Group E, which increases the importance of this match as a defeat could knock Tottenham out of the competition. Mauricio Pochettino will realise that his team probably need two wins to qualify, which could cause Spurs to be more offensive in Monaco.
The North London side will be coming into the match with a lot of confidence after managing a late turnaround to beat West Ham on Saturday. It was an important mental victory as they had drawn their previous four league matches and they couldn’t afford to lose any further ground on the leading pack. The return of Harry Kane has been pivotal as he has provided the side with a proven goal-scorer and his influence was evident on Saturday as he scored a brace to secure the three points. He will need to be at his best once again on Tuesday night to keep Tottenham’s Champions League hopes alive.
Monaco are part of the leading pack in France after a great start to the season in all competitions. They have been in great form recently, winning their last three matches in all competitions without conceding a goal, while scoring 12 themselves. It won’t be an easy match for Tottenham and the pressure is off the hosts, who are already in a strong position in the group. The likes of Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva possess the quality to play at the highest level and will pose a threat to Tottenham on Tuesday night.
In the first meeting between the two, Monaco managed to get a priceless win at Wembley thanks to goals from Lemar and Silva, before a consolation goal from Toby Alderweireld provided Tottenham with hope of getting back into the match. A better performance will be needed if Tottenham are to get a better result this week.
- Harry Winks was the first Tottenham player to score during his first start for the club since Eric Dier.
- Tottenham have avoided defeat in each of their two away matches in the Champions League this season.
At 21 years of age, Thomas Lemar is one of the most exciting young players in French football and this could be the year that he really makes a name for himself. In Ligue 1, he already has five goals and one assist, highlighting the quality that he possesses in the final third. He is a dynamic player who looks to run at defenders and is capable of scoring all types of goals. Tottenham will have to be wary about giving him space in the final third, as he has a good strike from range and is able to play throughballs that cut open the opposition defence. This is a stage that will excite Lemar as he tries to establish himself at the highest level. He has already scored against Tottenham once this season and will be hoping to have a similarly good display on Tuesday night.
Tottenham’s hopes in all competitions are tied to Harry Kane, as nobody else has shown that they can score consistently. Vincent Janssen has yet to adjust to English football and isn’t an adequate replacement for Kane at this time. The Englishman came back into the side in the North London derby and has scored three goals in two matches since his return. Although two have come from the penalty spot, Tottenham have looked a lot better in attack with Kane in the side. His link up play is much better than Janssen’s and he intimidates opposition defences as they realise the quality that he possesses. Monaco pose a tough test for Tottenham and they will need to be at their best to secure a priceless away victory. Tottenham lacked goal threat in their last Champions League match and the return of Kane should address that. If he plays as we know he can, Spurs will win on Tuesday.
Ben Davies, Erik Lamela and Toby Alderweireld won’t be back until the beginning of next month, which leaves Pochettino with a selection dilemma on Tuesday. The Argentine opted for a 4-4-2 diamond on Saturday and it didn’t work as he would have wanted. He is likely to change back to a 4-2-3-1 on Tuesday with Dele Alli expected to start.
Joao Moutinho and Nabil Dirar will be missing for the home side, but Falcao could be given the opportunity to start after recapturing his form this season. Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva are both expected to start after their impressive performances against Tottenham in the first match between the two in the group.
It is a difficult match to call as Monaco are in great form and will go at Tottenham like they did in the first meeting. That said, Tottenham desperately need a positive result and I expect Pochettino to mastermind a crucial away victory to keep the hopes of qualification alive. The return of Harry Kane is massive as they now have a proven goal threat and he will be itching to prove himself in the Champions League. He has yet to score in the competition, but I expect that to change on Tuesday.
Monaco 1-2 Tottenham