Pochettino must swing axe in wholesale changes: This Tottenham XI would smash Rochdale
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino must rest his top stars and make wholesale changes for when Rochdale visit Wembley on Wednesday in a non-stop run of games for the club.
As a result of their push for success on three fronts both domestically and in Europe, Spurs will have faced five matches in the next two weeks, with the FA Cup replay against the League One side an unwanted added fixture to an already hectic schedule.
The Dale held Pochettino and his men to a 2-2 draw at Spotland last week, meaning that the side sitting at the bottom of England’s third tier have earned themselves a glamour trip to Wembley.
However, when they arrive at the national stadium, and the team sheets are released an hour before kick off, Keith Hill and his men should not expect to see a full strength Spurs side, with matches against Huddersfield in the league and Juventus in the Champions League on the horizon for the Lilywhites.
As such, Pochettino should axe nine of the side which beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, naming a side which would smash past the visitors on Wednesday.
Hugo Lloris, Serge Aurier, Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane should all either drop to the bench or out of the squad entirely, with Michel Vorm, Kieran Trippier, Juan Foyth, Danny Rose, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura, Heung-min Son and Fernando Llorente taking their places.
Only Davinson Sanchez should remain in defence with Pochettino offered good depth that he should make use of, with the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld needed to rest for bigger games.
Winks and Sissoko should be trusted to run the midfield in the centre of the park, while Christian Eriksen should see himself joined by Son and Lucas in what is an attacking midfield fit for the Premier League.
Up front, Sunday’s matchwinner Kane should be given the day off, despite having rescued Spurs against Dale in the first fixture, and Llorente must prove now or never that he has what it takes to lead the line.
In other Tottenham news, Alan Shearer is right to blame Pochettino over criticisms of one Spurs star.