Nuno Espirito Santo takes his Tottenham squad – without Harry Kane – to Portugal to face Pacos de Ferreira on Thursday night, in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off tie.
The Portuguese outfit progressed to this stage having beaten Northern Ireland’s Larne 4-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round, for which they qualified by earning a fifth-placed finish in last season’s Primeira Liga.
Tottenham went straight into the play off round to battle for a place in the competition proper with a seventh-placed league finish last term, and will head into Thursday night’s clash full of vigour, having just seen off reigning Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 to kick off their domestic campaign.
Here’s the lineup Santo could opt for in a bid to continue that winning form.
Pierluigi Gollini (GK) – Hugo Lloris was between the sticks for the win over City but, following his loan arrival, Gollini could be given his debut in this one.
Matt Doherty (RB) – Japhet Tanganga was immense last time out but, with rotation expected, we could see Doherty’s first start under the man who allowed him to thrive at former club Wolves.
Cristian Romero (CB) – Last season’s Serie A defender of the year should be in line for his full debut.
Eric Dier (CB) – Fell out of favour with nearly everyone associated with Spurs last term, although a fantastic performance against City has earned him another chance at the Lilywhites.
Ben Davies (LB) – Sergio Reguilon will also likely be given a rest, meaning Welshman Davies could come into the side for Thursday night’s clash.
Harry Winks (CM) – Winks could get a shot in the side should Santo choose to rotate things, giving the 25-year-old an opportunity to impress his new manager.
Oliver Skipp (CM) – A very encouraging performance last time out may be an indication of a big season ahead for the 20-year-old, who could seal his place in the heart of midfield throughout the season.
Giovani Lo Celso (AM) – Dele Alli could be afforded a rest after the shift he put in against City, meaning Lo Celso may be given a starting role.
Steven Bergwijn (RW) – Struggled to find an end product last time out, but can get some good practise in against what will likely be an inferior defence on Thursday night.
Heung-min Son (ST) – No Kane? No pain. Son stepped up for his side last time out and, should their captain depart, this man will be the shining light and will endear himself even further to the Spurs faithful.
Bryan Gil (LW) – A really exciting prospect and potential star signing, this would be a brilliant opportunity for Gil to hit the ground running at Tottenham.