Predicted Tottenham Hotspur XI to play Benfica - Townsend to start, Eriksen on the bench

White Hart Lane 4

Match to be played on Thursday March 13 2014 at 20:05 GMT. Venue: White Hart Lane, London.

Tim Sherwood has some big decisions to make ahead of Tottenham’s first leg in the Europa League tie against Benfica.

Spurs battled well to get through the match against Dnipro to setup the clash with the Portuguese side as he looks to win a bit of silverware in his first season in charge of the club.

Sherwood is missing a few key players but he can still name a very strong eleven for the game. This is the side he may go with.

GK – Hugo Lloris

Benfica are a top quality team, which means no messing around as far as the goalkeeper is concerned. Lloris should start.

RB – Kyle Walker

Walker should revert to his more natural right-back role after playing further forward against Chelsea last weekend. He’s a solid defensive option in the back four.

CB – Younes Kaboul

Kaboul also has a point to prove following his performance against Chelsea. Spurs won the appeal against his red card but he’s still got a big point to prove if he wants to start against Arsenal.

CB - Jan Vertonghen

With Michael Dawson injured, Vertonghen should continue on the left hand side of central defence. He played left-back against Chelsea and should look far more comfortable in this position.

LB – Danny Rose

Rose should slot back into the left-back role following a spell out of the side. His pace will be a key asset at both ends of the pitch.

RM – Andros Townsend

Townsend is a good player to have over on the right because he offers a great attacking option coming in and onto his left foot.

CM – Paulinho

Paulinho only had half an hour against Chelsea so he should be slightly fresher. He can play different roles, dropping off to protect the defence but also nudging forward when Spurs are on top.

CM – Nabil Bentaleb

A favourite of Sherwood since he took over as head coach. He needs to sit and control the game in the middle for the team showing he’s capable of pulling the strings against an experienced European opponent.

LM – Gylfi Sigrdusson

A role he’s played numerous times before but Sherwood may be keen to protect Aaron Lennon, with Christian Eriksen only likely to be on the bench following injury.

ST – Emmanuel Adebayor

Adebayor should start in attack because he’s on a good run of form and it’s important for Tottenham to try and take advantage of that. Expect to see him withdrawn early if the game is going Tottenham’s way.

ST – Roberto Soldado

A chance for the Spaniard to put some real pressure on Sherwood ahead of the North London derby and to get on a decent run of form.

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