There is no longer any doubt that Tottenham are in a title race. After their incredible win away at Manchester City on Sunday, Spurs are only two points behind leaders Leicester in second place, and are now among the favourites to win their first Premier League title. But with commitments still in Europe, Spurs may have to sacrifice the Europa League if they want to maintain their challenge for the title.
As it stands, Tottenham are fighting on three fronts. Given their impressive form and unpredictability of the Premier League this season, they will feel that this could be their best chance in years to win the title. They are still in the FA Cup, and given that it is less likely to lead to a fixture pile-up, may be able to target success in that competition.
The Europa League however could definitely do Tottenham more harm than good. With a run of fixtures on Thursday nights that would immediately be followed by a league fixture on the Sunday, Spurs’ squad may be stretched.
With only three days in between matches, Mauricio Pochettino would ideally be able to put out a strong side in both competitions, but in some areas, his side could be left short. Kevin Wimmer is his only natural centre back if the first choice pairing of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are unavailable, while with Clinton N’Jie’s continuing injury troubles, they have only Harry Kane up front.
They most likely much rather take home the Premier League title than the Europa League, which in the grand scheme of things would mean very little, seeing as they should secure a place in the top four to earn Champions League football.
Having bought through the likes of Kane, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose in recent years, Spurs have shown they have a strong and productive youth system, so may wish to give younger players the chance in the Europa League. The competition would also give some of their fringe players the chance to stake a claim for a place in the first team, something Kane himself did in the early months of last season.
With teams like Chelsea and Manchester United in turmoil and struggling in the league, it could be years before Tottenham get another chance as good as this one to win the Premier League. They should certainly consider leaving their best players out of their Europa League side, or the dream could end.