UEFA Champions League. Group E. Round 5
November 22, 20:45 CET
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco, France
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers, Netherlands
UEFA Champions League Group E is on its way of bringing up one of the first sensations of the current European season. And this game is currently drawing the probabilities of the sensation happening. With no further delay, here we present what is the possible sensation we are discussing.
As you can see from the table, after four rounds played in the UCL group stage, French Monaco are leading the table with eight points, Bayer Leverkusen are the second with 6 and Tottenham are the third with four points, leaving Russian CSKA on the very last place with low if any chance at all.
Of course, looking at the names a football fan could assume that the power would be distributed equally, as the third position bearers of Frensh Ligue 1, German Bundesliga and English Premier League were to compete in the same group. However, only few would predict that the French side would take the lead. This game is a good chance to secure their place in the last 16 even before the last round.
For Tottenham, this game is even more important strategically. Taking into account the fact that Tottenham have already put themselves in a very unfavorable position, a possible fallout of the first English team is can already be expected in case they fail today’s clash.
Moreover, Tottenham have already failed the home game against their French opponents (1-2). Alderweireld’s goal was not enough to cover up the two conceded from Bernando Silva and Lemar in the first half.
The situation was different last season, when these teams met in Europa League group stage (a whole different level, isn’t it?). Tottenham was obviously stronger at home back then (4-1), which with the draw in the away game (1-1) make them better off in this micro-battle.
These teams also met in the pre-season Club Friendlies back in 2013, where Monaco slayed Tottenham (5-2).
Monaco manager Lenoardo Jardim can chose whatever combination he wants for the game the Tuesday’s clash as none of the players is injured or suspended in his teams. However, Joao Moutinho is reported to lack fitness and is less likely to feature.
Pochettino, on the other hand will still lack a couple of key players of the first squad, such as defenders Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies (both injured) and Kyle Walker (rested), plus Erik Lamela (injured) in the midfield.