Aurier absent again for Spurs as Trippier set to get nod for first leg
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Mauricio Pochettino will be without Serge Aurier, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela for the Champions League quarter-final first leg with Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur will be without three key players for the visit of Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League this evening.
Spurs play the first leg of the last-eight clash at their new 62,062-seater stadium and will hope a partisan atmosphere can be created by the home fans.
Mauricio Pochettino will find himself unable to select three members of his first-team squad, but Fernando Llorente is available again after recovering from the concussion he suffered in the 2-1 loss at Liverpool on March 31.
While the Spaniard is back, Tottenham remain without Serge Aurier, who is still out with a hamstring injury.
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The Ivory Coast captain suffered the problem on international duty and will miss this clash with City, meaning Kieran Trippier should retain his spot at right-back.
In addition to Aurier, Spurs will also be without long-serving pair Eric Dier (hip flexor) and Erik Lamela (hamstring).
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The absence of Dier in particular restricts Pochettino’s options, with the utility man a key player when Tottenham look to switch formation mid-game.
With the England midfielder still out, Victor Wanyama can expect to be on the bench while Harry Winks will hope to be fit enough to partner Moussa Sissoko in the middle of the pitch.
Aside from these issues, Spurs’ Argentinian manager must decide whether he sticks to his trusted three at the back formation with wing-backs or if he goes with a 4-2-3-1.
Either way, Tottenham will need a monumental effort tonight – from the team all the way to the home fans.
Given the away goal rule comes into play in the Champions League, the Lilywhites will look to keep a clean sheet this evening, but it will not be a simple task considering the goalscoring talent at Pep Guardiola’s disposal.
Any type of advantage the north Londoners can take to the Etihad will be welcomed and they will take inspiration from what Liverpool did to City last season at this same stage of the competition.
When Spurs last made the quarter-finals of the Champions League, they trailed 1-0 to Real Madrid after five minutes and were reduced to 10-men in the 14th minute of the first leg when Peter Crouch picked up a second yellow.
Tottenham must avoid a repeat tonight and have to start strongly to put the quadruple-chasing Citizens on the back foot on what could be a special night back in N17.
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