It has really been a fortunate season so far with injuries. We had a minor crisis earlier when Kyle Naughton went down and Eric Dier proved a weak link at right back, but overall Tottenham Hotspur have proved remarkably healthy. That could of course change at any moment, and given the realities of modern football it probably will soon enough. But it didn't change this week.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed that only two players, Kyle Walker and Nabil Bentaleb, will be unavailable for Sunday's match against Stoke City. Neither of these absences are news.Walker is reportedly shooting for an early December return, while Bentaleb had already been ruled out of mid-November international competition.
Pochettino had left Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Younes Kaboul behind in choosing his squad for the Asteras Tripolis match, but apparently none were dropped due to injuries. Rumors had been swirling about both Lennon's and Adebayor's fitness. Of course a manager is free to not reveal every injury on his squad before a match. But since Lennon specifically said his injury was minor and there have been no non-rumor reports of any fitness problems for Adebayor, the most likely situation here is that everyone is pretty much fine.
That means practically no constraints on Pochettino's squad selection. He has two left backs, five center backs, four central midfielders, five attacking mids and three strikers from whom to select his squad. The Europa squad provided much less evidence of Poche's thinking than it usually does, as squad lynchpins Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela all started. So you can't just say, whoever started in Europa will sit on Sunday. With no hints either from the team news or the Europa squad, this is easily the toughest week all year for guess-the-XI. There is a good chance that Sunday will surprise us all.