Tottenham take on Fiorentina in Florence tonight in the second leg of their Europa League last 32 tie with the scores level at 1-1 from the opening leg at White Hart Lane last Thursday. The game takes place just 72 hours before their huge Capital One Cup final at Wembley against fierce rivals Chelsea. It is no exaggeration to say that these two games could define Spurs’ season, especially if they lose.
The task in Italy is far from straightforward, Fiorentina are a good side as they showed getting the 1-1 draw in London but if Spurs play to their best they can and should overcome the Italian side. Getting through to the next round is vital for Pochettino with the FA cup gone they want to have some cup to fight for as the season draws to an end although should they beat Chelsea on Sunday they will at least have some silverware for the season.
Lifting the cup on Sunday would be a huge achievement for Pochettino and his players considering the difference in preparation both them and Chelsea will have for the game. Chelsea have had the week off and will no doubt have been solely focusing on the final whereas due to the Europa League tie Spurs will only arrive back in England on Friday and tiredness could well be a problem, also their preparation in training this week will have been divided between Fiorentina and Chelsea so they more than likely will not be as well set up as Mourinho’s Chelsea.
A win tonight would slightly ease the pressure on the squad when they take to the Wembley pitch on Sunday afternoon, knowing they still have a chance of lifting a trophy would be some consolation were they not to win. Losing tonight would however be a disaster,it would mean defeat against Chelsea would see them end a season without a trophy yet again.
If you were to ask every Spurs fan which game they would rather win it would probably be the Chelsea one, beating one of their biggest rivals in a cup final would be fantastic for the supporters. The 5-3 win at White Hart Lane is fresh in the memory and how they would love to recreate that this weekend. The players won't be thinking of that just yet however and they will be hoping they can come through this three day period with a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and with a medal in their pockets.