Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to build an advantage against Fiorentina in the Europa League this evening, but some fans may already have one eye on the game against West Ham this weekend.
Spurs have two-and-a-half days after the match this evening to prepare for facing the Hammers, which leaves the managers and the players under pressure.
The side’s record after Europa League games this season in the Premier League (stretching back to the qualifiers last August) shows a straight down the middle split with four wins and four defeats.
That makes them difficult to predict for West Ham and Sam Allardyce this weekend and suggests that Tottenham have every chance of maintaining a strong challenge in the league and in Europe for the rest of the season.
What could work against Tottenham is that it’s been a while (last December) since they last played a Europa League game.
On the one hand that’s provided the players with a chance to recharge their batteries and fight in other competitions but on the other hand, they need to get used to playing two games within the space of three days again very quickly.
How Mauricio Pochettino approaches Premier League games after European contests for the rest of the season remains to be seen but the club have a very fit squad of players and plenty of quality.
He has to rotate well because Spurs are fighting for a top four place and in games like the derby against the Hammers this weekend, the emotion levels are going to be high and there will be strain on the players.
Tottenham can be successful this season, but they have to put digits in the wins column after European games for the rest of the season.