There are only a few days to go until the final clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage, and everyone knows that it’s a dead rubber. Bayern are already confirmed for the top spot, and Spurs have already qualified.
Therefore, this seems like a good opportunity to rest players. José Mourinho certainly seems to think so. Speaking to the press following his side’s 5-0 win over Burnley, the new Spurs boss confirmed that star striker Harry Kane would not participate in the proceedings at the Allianz Arena (via football.london):
Q. Will he [Troy Parrott] play for you against Bayern Munich?
A. I don’t know. I can say that Harry Kane will not play, but who is going to play I need to think.
This comes on the back of statements made prior to the game in which Mourinho confirmed that some youth players would be given a chance against the Bavarians (via football.london):
It’s a great opportunity for young people. 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, it’s a great opportunity for them
The Portuguese coach went on to explain his reasoning, when asked whether the tie was meaningless:
Not for me. Not for Tottenham. Not for the objectives, no. Because we are going to finish second. It doesn’t matter the result, but it’s very important for the players. Very important for the players that are going to play.
It’ll be interesting to see if his counterpart Hansi Flick feels the same. Mourinho confirmed that the North Londoners weren’t just going to lie down and let Bayern walk over them, however:
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.
Of course, Spurs got hammered 7-2 in the home leg of this fixture a few months ago, back when both teams were under different management. So maybe Jose will consider anything but another 7-2 to be a result that he can live with. Unfortunately, with Bayern coming off the back of two devastating 2-1 defeats in the league, Hansi Flick doesn’t have the same luxury. It remains to be seen how the Bavarians will approach the game.
One of those youth players likely to play, incidentally, Troy Parrott, has recently been on Bayern’s transfer radar.