Will injury-hit Tottenham and in-crisis Liverpool deliberately lose in Europe?


Liverpool and Tottenham are both set to field a weakened lineup in the Europa league this week.

Despite the pressure to deliver, the likes of Rodgers & Pochettino are reluctant to give it their best shot in Europe.

After an impressive start to their Europa campaign, Spurs travel to Monaco tonight. Meanwhile Liverpool will be looking to get their first European win of the season against Sion.

The French outfit are no longer the side that appeared in the Champions League quarter finals a few years ago. After a retreat on their initial philosophy of investing heavily, Monaco are a club focused on youth.

After the departures of Abdennour, Kondogbia, Carrasco and Martial, Monaco have found it tough to get going in Europe. Star signing, Stephan El Shaarawy is expected to lead the line for the home side.

Tottenham have an injury ravaged squad and the likes of Heung Min-Son, Pritchard, Dembele, Bentaleb are all ruled out. Pochettino is set to field a weakened side and will recall the likes of Wimmier, Trippier and Townsend.

Elsewhere, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is under tremendous pressure to win games, but surprisingly the former Swansea manager has hinted that the Reds will use Europa as a platform to promote their youth players.

The likes of Rossiter, Ibe etc are expected to feature tonight with the senior players being rested.

After the recent capitulation of Arsenal and Chelsea in the Champions League, one has to wonder whether English teams are taking Europe lightly.

Arsenal rested 6 first team players before for their clash against Zagreb and came away with a defeat. Liverpool are planning to rest around 7 first team players later tonight. Similarly, Spurs are set to rest the likes of Eriksen, Vertonghen, Lloris, Lamela etc.

Recent track record shows that most sides have failed to balance their league and Europa campaign simultaneously and it remains to be seen if that is what the managers are concerned about. Is it a case of Rodgers and Pochettino sacrificing the Europa league in order to make it to the Champions League?

If so, is it wise to rely on 38 game competition as opposed to winning a few games in a knockout tournament, especially when the reward is same?

Furthermore, both Spurs and Liverpool are significantly weaker than the teams above them in the league. In that case, is it a gamble worth taking?

Both Spurs and Liverpool need to win tonight in order to avoid late pressure in the remaining group games and it will be interesting to see if their approach works.

Either way, Europa is a great pathway to the Champions League and should not be taken lightly.

Recent history shows that teams have used Europa as a great platform to grow and move onto the Champions League as competitive sides. Example? Atletico Madrid.

Tottenham possible XI: Vorm; Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Mason, Dier; Townsend, Alli, Chadli; Kane.

Liverpool possible XI: Mignolet; Can, Toure, Gomez; Clyne, Allen, Rossiter, Ibe; Lallana; Ings, Origi.

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