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Fiorentina v Spurs: Squad management the key for visitors

| 26.02.2015

All eyes will be on the teamsheet when Spurs travel to Florence for their round-of-32 second-leg clash with Fiorentina, as Mauricio Pochettino tries to balance the importance of European progression with the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea three days afterwards.

The motivation of those selected in Italy will be an issue, as it is likely that inclusion in the Europa League means no, or limited, involvement in Spurs’ first attempt to win a piece of silverware since 2009.

Trying to guess Pochettino’s plans is futile as the former Southampton tactician has shown no clear formula for squad rotation over the north Londoners recent fixture pile up. He rested leading scorer Harry Kane against Fiorentina at White Hart Lane, but then took Christian Eriksen out of the firing line against West Ham most recently.

Whichever way the Argentine decides to play it, he’ll be acutely aware of the need to get Spurs into the next round, with a Champions League place available to the competition’s winners.

A worrying recent inability to sustain the high-pressing game plan that has become Tottenham’s staple will need to be nipped in the bud against Vincenzo Montella’s side, who are undefeated in six at home.

There will be a chance for Spurs to nab an away goal to match the Viola’s from the first leg though, as both teams have scored in seven straight matches at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

The same has been true in six of the Lilywhites’ last seven games away from White Hart Lane, making the 2/3 on both teams scoring in the match the only bet worth worrying about for the encounter.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.