Having brought Harry Kane, Tom Carroll and Andros Townsend into the 18 man squad for tonight’s return leg against Hearts, the exact line up is harder than most to predict.
What we do know is that Huddlestone and Modric are doubtful while King, Sandro, Pienaar, Rose, Gallas and Palacios are definitely out.
Meanwhile, the club website states some ‘better’ news with ‘Jermaine Jenas back in the frame after an achilles problem’. Their words, not ours.
In goal, Gomes could take over from new number one Brad Friedel, while the back four is likely to have only one question mark – whether Corluka or Walker will play at right back. Otherwise it should be BAE, Dawson and Kaboul although Harry may want a look at Bassong as an option.
It starts to get interesting in midfield and while Lennon and Livermore look set to continue on the right side, will Modric replace Kranjcar? Niko could then move to the left wing with Bale rested, but with Townsend in the squad it seems that Andros could well be given a start. Will Tom Carroll appear?
Having picked Kane, why not start with him in a two man attack? His likely partner may be Pavlyuchenko, with Defoe rested after Harry credited him with ‘looking sharp’. Presumably JD will start on Sunday so should be rested here.
The alternative as always is to put VDV behind a lone striker which may well be Pav. In this case, hopefully Kane will appear at some stage.
With the tie won, we might as well use it to get as many unfit players sharp and give the youngsters a chance. Here’s our team to face Hearts, what’s yours?