Tuesday 10 December 2019 4:49 pm

Bayern Munich dead-rubber is a chance for Mourinho to show his changing attitude to youth players

On one hand, Tottenham’s match with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night represents an opportunity for them to enact revenge on the 7-2 thrashing suffered at the hands of the German side earlier this season.

On the other, with both sides already guaranteed to progress to the round of 16 and Tottenham unable to move above group leaders Bayern, the game also gives Jose Mourinho a chance to rest some players ahead of the busy festive schedule.

The new boss has already confirmed that Harry Kane will not feature in Munich and the resurgent Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min could also be rested following their heroics in the 5-0 win over Burnley on the weekend.

Read more: Leicester’s solid defence has been the foundation of their rise up the Premier League table

The attacking flair on display in north London on Saturday epitomised the impact Mourinho has had since joining Tottenham three weeks ago.

They have scored 16 goals in five games since he took charge, despite him typically being associated with more defensive and organised tactics.

Wednesday night’s game is another chance for him to prove his critics wrong by using some of the talented youth players at his disposal.

Tottenham’s kids

“It’s a great opportunity for young people,” he said ahead of the game. “A great opportunity for the development of these young players, the Walker-Peters, the Skipps, the Parrotts, the Sessegnons, all these young players that we have.”

Troy Parrott, 17, could be in line to start after coming off the bench to make his Premier League debut against Burnley.

Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has tried to change his ways at Tottenham including his attitude to younger players

Just last week he was playing in the Uefa Youth League and any involvement tonight against European giants Bayern would round off a spectacular week for him.

Mourinho is said to be keen on the player, who is the only out-and-out striker Spurs have to back up Kane.

However, Parrott has just 18 months left on his contract and is reported to want assurances over playing opportunity with teams such as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern interested.

Ryan Sessegnon
Ryan Sessegnon has only played 30 minutes for Tottenham this season but could start against Bayern Munich on Wednesday

At a club such as Spurs, Mourinho will not be able to depend on the club’s ability to buy whichever players he desires, so the production line of youth players, as well as keeping them happy and integrating them, is particularly important.

Perhaps had it been of greater importance at his former club Chelsea, they may not have sold young talents like Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.

Balancing act

Tonight’s game could also be a chance for Ryan Sessegnon to ignite his Spurs career. The 19-year-old left-back has been deemed one of England’s brightest talents, but has played just 30 minutes this campaign due to injury.

Other opportunities could be given to the likes of Oliver Skipp, 19, Kyle Walker-Peters, 22, and Japhet Tanganga, 20, although Mourinho will be wary of avoiding another humiliation having just restored his team’s confidence.

“Of course there is the prestige of the club also involved, and we are going to try to go with a team that gives us some guarantees to try to fight for a result that we don’t need, but a result that we want,” he said.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-MOENCHENGLADBACH-BAYERN MUNICH
Bayern Munich suffered a second successive defeat at the weekend, losing 2-1 to Borussia Monchengladbach and falling to seventh in the league

For Bayern, interim boss Hans-Dieter Flick faces a similar dilemma with the team guaranteed first place in the group.

Read more: West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners’ nine-minute burst enough to give Ljungberg a first victory and end nine-game winless run

The reigning Bundesliga champions do not need to win, but could use the boost to their confidence as they come into the tie following back-to-back league defeats that have left them in seventh place.

They are in real danger of losing their domestic crown, with Borussia Monchengladbach moving seven points ahead of them in first place after beating Bayern 2-1 on the weekend.

Victory tonight would see Bayern progress as the only team in the Champions League with a 100 per cent record. Mourinho’s youngsters will have other ideas, though.

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