Tottenham Hotspur face CSKA Moscow in their final clash in the Champions League. A loss to Monaco in their previous match saw Tottenham move to third in their group with only four points. A win or draw against CSKA Moscow will see Tottenham secure a place in the Europa League while a loss will see them leave Europe altogether.
Europa League is good
Tottenham’s exit from the Champions League sees them continue into the Europa League and Mauricio Pochettino has explained that it is a good thing. Pochettino explained to fans that even though they may not like the idea of going back to Europe’s second tier competition it is still “important to be involved” in the competition.
He added that “it’s a good opportunity to win trophies” and so should not be thought of in a “negative way” but rather an “opportunity to stay alive in another competition”. The Argentine further illuded to the fact that winning the Europa League is also provides entrance to the Champions League. He explained that “if we cannot cope with the pressure to play in the Champions League or we don't show that we deserve in the end to qualify, now our responsibility is to try and win tomorrow, to go to the Europa League, try to do our job and try to do further in the competition”.
Alderweireld back but Davies and Lamela still out
Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Toby Alderweireld will return to the squad for Spurs’s clash with CSKA Moscow. The argentine commented that he is “happy” that the defender is available for selection again as he is “recovering well and he will be in the squad”.
Alderweireld has been out of the Tottenham squad since their 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion in which he sustained a knee injury. Pochettino further commented that “I think it’s important for him, after two months, to be involved in the squad.” However, Pochettino added that “tomorrow maybe he will start on the bench” in order to “recover that feeling” of being part of a match.
The Argentine also had praise for the defender calling him “one of the best central defenders in the Premier League” and is a “very important player for the team”. Pochettino added that “he fits very well” into the team and “showed his quality last season”.
Pochettino also brought good news concerning Ben Davies adding that “maybe on Thursday he will be available to be selected again” as his “recovery is very good”.
The manager did not bring good news concerning winger Erik Lamela as he confirmed that his fellow compatriot had flown back to Argentina last night due to “a problem with his brother”. Pochettino sent his “support” to the winger due to the “problems with his family” as they “hope that it’s not too serious but it’s an issue where he needed to go to Argentina”.