Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane has left out of his side's decisive Europa League encounter with Fiorentina.
As the team news was released an hour before Tottenham’s early kick off in their last-32 second leg game, it was revealed that Mauricio Pochettino had decided to rotate his team with Sunday’s Capital One Cup final in mind.
Kane has 24 goals for Spurs this season but has been rested with Roberto Soldado chosen as the man to lead the line for Spurs instead. It is a slight surprise as Spurs need to score in Italy to go through as they drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the first leg.
Pochettino had said earlier in the week that his side are facing “two cup finals” with the Fiorentina game being followed by their trip to Wembley to face Chelsea. He mentioned that it would be difficult for his players to get sufficient rest if they played in both games and said he might have to chop and change.
The Argentinian was sceptical though about making too many changes as he said in an interview with the Independent: “If you rotate against Fiorentina and then at Wembley and win them both, you are a genius. If you lose this game and then the final, you are a bad coach. It’s not fair.”
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It’s a big call from Pochettino to rest their 21-year-old talisman but he has also made six other changes to the side leaving out other key players. Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend have all been omitted.
The Spurs boss has brought Vlad Chriches, Federico Fazio, Ben Davies, Benjamin Stambouli, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen into the starting line-up.
It is still a strong Spurs side that are more than capable of getting a result away in Italy and they obviously now have a strong bench they can call on should they need them.
It could turn out to be a great decision from Pochettino to rotate the team in time for Sunday’s big game with Chelsea.
The Tottenham starting XI vs Fiorentina: Lloris; Chiriches, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb, Stambouli; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Soldado.
Substitutes: Vorm, Rose, Walker, Mason, Paulinho, Townsend, Kane.