5 Tottenham players who will be given one last chance to impress Postecoglou| SolSportHQ
Tottenham are set to face Barcelona on Tuesday evening and head coach Ange Postecoglou will take another look at some of his players
Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou has already said that he is going to heavily rotate his team to face Barcelona and that will give some of his players a last chance to impress.
Spurs beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to four goals from Harry Kane and one from teenager Dane Scarlett. With just over 48 hours between that and Postecoglou leading his team into their final friendly of the summer with the trip to Barcelona he needs to ring the changes.
“We’ve got training tomorrow (Monday), we’ll probably change the whole team for Tuesday night,” said Postecoglou in a club interview after Sunday’s win. “It will be a good hit-out for us, a good challenge [as] playing Barcelona away is always a tough challenge.
“It’s a great opportunity for us again to try and implement and a lot of the guys who will play on Tuesday night have had strong pre-seasons, so I’m looking forward to having them out there. Then we prepare for Sunday. We’ll get back from Barcelona and we have a good sort of lead into Sunday’s game.
“Brentford away will be a tough encounter and, apart from people asking me about Harry Kane on a daily basis, that will be my week.”
With that in mind, here are five players we reckon will be looking to catch Postecoglou’s eye one last time ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener at Brentford.
Postecoglou loves the Brazilian striker which is a big factor in Richarlison’s corner already. He fits the Australian’s usual archetype for the centre forward role in his system with his work rate and sacrificing himself for the team.
However, all eyes are on Brazil’s number nine’s potency in front of goal amid the Harry Kane saga because if the England captain does still depart for Bayern Munich, despite their recent failed bid, then somebody will have to step into his place.
Richarlison needs to prove that he’s better than the player who has netted just one Premier League goal for Spurs since his £60m move from Everton a year ago.
The 26-year-old scored a hat-trick against Lion City Sailors in Singapore but a goal or two against higher profile opposition in Barcelona will help his case if Spurs are forced into the market should Kane depart.
Giovani Lo Celso
Lo Celso is another player who has impressed Postecoglou in pre-season and the Argentine might just feel there is a chance to grab a last-gasp spot in the Spurs midfield three.
The Spurs boss has said not to read anything into his starting line-ups in pre-season but the likelihood is that the players who will feature at Brentford will be the ones who have been getting the most game time.
With that logic Pape Matar Sarr appears to be in with a chance of taking to the pitch on Sunday, with Postecoglou having been quite taken with the ability of the young Senegal international.
Yves Bissouma will likely lead the midfield against Barcelona to ensure he gets 90 minutes in his legs.
With Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, Postecoglou will have to think carefully about his midfield blend for the weekend and Lo Celso has a final pre-season chance to show what he can bring from the left of the three with his creativity and energy.
Last season was not a good one for Eric Dier. After a bright start which earned an England recall, he struggled and was hampered by a groin injury during the campaign that eventually became so painful it required surgery.
With the arrival of Micky van de Ven to play alongside Cristian Romero and Postecoglou wanting another new centre-back to add to his squad, the pressure is on Dier to show that he can be more than a back-up this season.
Minutes have been sparse in pre-season for the England international, who only has 11 months left on his contract, and this could be a rare chance for him to show that he can handle Postecoglou’s aggressive defensive system and its often high line.
The Spaniard had started the first two pre-season matches until the Shakhtar game on Sunday brought Emerson Royal’s return to the side.
Postecoglou has stated that he would be happy to play both Porro and young left-back Destiny Udogie together despite their attacking tendencies. The reality though for now is that it is more likely to be one of them paired with either the more defensive Emerson or Ben Davies on the opposite flank in the Premier League.
Udogie’s impressive displays may have pushed him ahead in the pecking order and this is a chance for Porro to show what he can do within the Australian’s system against strong opposition who will force him to defend.
The Croatian was tipped by most to leave this summer, and still could, but there’s no getting around the fact that he has been one of better Spurs performers in pre-season.
Back as a winger, rather than a wing-back, in Postecoglou’s system, Perisic has been freed from his defensive shackles and he’s looked sharp in both of his performances so far.
The 34-year-old’s quality lies in his delivery both from open play and set pieces and with his experience of big games he will not be fazed by facing Barcelona in the Catalan city.
Perisic’s Spurs future is still unclear but he can send a message to both Postecoglou and any watching clubs with another strong performance on Tuesday night.