Team news is out for Tottenham Hotspur's Sunday clash against West Ham at White Hart Lane, and there's good news! Kinda! After a couple of days of angsting over the status of Nabil Bentaleb's ankle, Mauricio Pochettino today indicated that he might not yet be ready to make the match day 18 for Spurs.
Mauricio: "@Coco_Lamela is suspended. Everyone else came back fine from internationals which is good." #COYS pic.twitter.com/dF5rLfdwd1— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 20, 2015
Bentaleb was only starting to come back after missing 11 Tottenham matches due to an ankle injury, and he played his first competitive football in three months with Algeria as they played back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Tanzania. Bentaleb played the second half in the first Tanzania tie, but was subbed off after only 35 minutes after starting the second leg after a Tanzania player stepped on his ankle. Reports indicated the Algerian FA subbed him off for tactical reasons and not due to injury.
Pochettino's remarks suggest that the tackle might have been a little harder than what the Algerian FA indicated, but probably nothing that we need to worry about too much. Poche does tend to take his time bringing players back from injury, and with Eric Dier and Dele Alli playing so well in midfield for Spurs, taking time with Bentaleb is both a luxury and a prudent option. It wouldn't surprise me if we see Nabil get some significant minutes on Thanksgiving Day when Spurs travel to Azerbaijan to play Qarabag in the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Erik Lamela will miss the West Ham match via suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card against Arsenal. Nacer Chadli and Alex Pritchard remain on the long-term injury list. Expect Son Heung-Min to return to the starting lineup after two solid shifts with the Korean national team this past week. Poche didn't address Lamela's injury status after he apparently picked up a muscle strain while training with Argentina last week.
West Ham have two players that could be in contention for the match day squad in Pedro Obiang, and Diafra Sakho. West Ham's best player, Dimitri Payet, is out long-term after spraining his ankle, and Enner Valencia is also out with injury and is not expected back until the new year.