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Predicted Tottenham Hotspur XI to play Benfica - How does Sherwood patch up his defence?

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Match to be played on Thursday March 20 2014 at 18:00 GMT. Venue: Futebol Campus, Portugal.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood has several injury problems to contend with as he mulls over which side to go with for the Europa League second leg clash against Benfica.

Spurs suffered a 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in the first game between the two sides, which means Sherwood’s men are staring down the barrel as they look to turn things around against the runaway Portuguese league leaders.

Here’s the side Sherwood could go with.

GK – Hugo Lloris

With so many injuries across the back four, it’s important Sherwood has a bit of experience in defence. Lloris can provide that and help keep things organised.

RB – Kyle Naughton

Naughton can slot in on the right hand side. His pace is important when he goes forward but he needs to stay switched on and have a very tight game defensively.

CB – Sandro

Michael Dawson, Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul are all injured while Jan Vertonghen is suspended. That means Sandro could drop into the centre of defence. He needs to lead well and stay disciplined.

CB - Milos Veljkovic

The youngster is in the squad and could be thrown in at the deep end by Sherwood. It will be a fantastic experience for him but he’s someone that Benfica could be looking to target.

LB – Zeki Fryers

A natural choice for the left hand side of the defence. He has experience in this competition already this season and should be looking to build on it.

RM – Aaron Lennon

Didn’t get off the bench against Arsenal last weekend so he’ll be fresh and ready to go. He can inject some real pace into the midfield out wide.

CM – Paulinho

Paulinho will also be slightly fresher having started on the bench against Arsenal. He can play a variety of different roles in the midfield.

CM – Gylfi Sigurdsson

Tottenham need Sigurdsson to get on the ball and control the pace of the game. He’ll have to move the ball forward quickly with his side chasing a two goal deficit.

AM – Christian Eriksen

Eriksen can slot in behind the main striker. He’s extremely effective when it comes to looking for small, deft passes in behind the defence to create a chance.

LM – Andros Townsend

Spurs need the Townsend from the start of the season, not the one who was ineffective against Arsenal last weekend. He offers pace and drive on either flank.

ST – Roberto Soldado

Emmanuel Adebayor is reportedly going to be rested for this game which means a chance for Soldado to lead the attack. It’s time for him to step up and put in a special performance for his club.

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