UCL vs Sporting Lisbon a big game for Tottenham Hotspur to win

UCL vs Sporting Lisbon a big game for Tottenham Hotspur to win

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Since October started, Tottenham Hotspur has lost three times; however, a win on Wednesday evening against Sporting would help right a lot of current wrongs.

A year ago today, Nuno Espirito Santo was still the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, and the team was struggling to advance out of the Europa Conference League group stage. Now 11 months on, under the leadership of Antonio Conte, a win on Wednesday would see Spurs advance to the Champions League knock-out stages with a game left, which is significant.

Tottenham can ensure some rest with a win

Maybe the most significant benefit from a win on Wednesday would be that Spurs would be guaranteed to advance to the knockout stages. Tottenham has played every three days for the last four weeks and will be doing so for two more. If just one of the six remaining games in eighteen days is essentially meaningless, it would be crucial for Tottenham.

If Spurs win on Wednesday, Conte can play whomever he wants in the Group D finale next week at Marseille, and it would not impact Tottenham’s advancing. However, playing a heavily rotated squad in a real match could have major implications for Spurs advancing in the League Cup.

Two weeks after the Sporting game, Tottenham will visit Nottingham Forest in Round 3 of the League Cup. If Spurs have already secured Champions League advancement, Conte and company can use that Marseille game as preparation for Forest, giving significant time to rotational players like Djed Spence, Oliver Skipp, Bryan Gil, and Japhet Tanganga.

The idea of resting players like Harry Kane and Pierre Hojbjerg sounds better than playing them until they break. A win Wednesday does that.

Advancing in the Champions League is a significant step for Spurs

Last season, Tottenham was in the lowest tier of European competition, competing in the Europa Conference League. And although one can argue it was Covid and rules that kept Spurs from advancing to the knockout rounds, the reality is Tottenham did not advance.

For Spurs to go from not advancing in the Conference League to securing a knockout round place in the Champions League in less than 12 months under Conte is not something to take lightly.

Tottenham lost at least once to all three Group Stage opponents last season, a win versus Sporting would mean Spurs have beaten all three Group Stage opponents at least once this season and are advancing, which is a sign of a team on the rise.

While the sting of the back-to-back losses in the League is still fresh and hurts, a win as significant as one against Sporting Lisbon would be on Wednesday is just what the team needs.

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