By Harry Sykes
Mauricio Pochettino should break up the Tottenham centre-back partnership that was ripped apart by Monaco in midweek.
The alliance of Kevin Wimmer and Eric Dier could not contain the French side as Spurs were eliminated from the Champions League on a night when only Hugo Lloris of the visiting side looked like he belonged in elite company.
Pochettino took the foolhardy decision to omit Jan Vertonghen from the starting XI and hold him in reserve for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea.
But it backfired and the Spurs manager should resist the possibility of playing Vertonghen at left-back against Antonio Conte’s side in the absence of the suspended Danny Rose and the injured Ben Davies.
A better alternative would be to omit the suspect Kevin Wimmer from the side and move Kieran Trippier across to left-back.
It would not be ideal to play right-back Trippier, who started ahead of Kyle Walker in midweek, out of position but it would be preferable to losing Vertonghen’s leadership, nous and ability in the centre of defence.
That would allow Walker to start in his preferred position, and give Spurs a base for counter-attacks against their in-form hosts in the clash at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs are the division’s only unbeaten team after 12 matches of the campaign but the mood in the camp will have been darkened by the midweek Champions League exit.
Nevertheless, the north London side should not make radical changes. A win on Saturday would draw them within a point of league leaders Chelsea.
Further up the field, Pochettino should make one other change in addition to replacing Wimmer and Rose at the back.
The Argentine should replace rookie midfielder Harry Winks, who can be proud of his displays in his first Premier League and Champions League starts, with playmaker Christian Eriksen.
The Dane has been below par this season but he should benefit from the midweek rest.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs have made a formal complaint about a senior Chelsea figure.