Tottenham Hotspur are in Monaco today preparing for a super-important Champions League match tomorrow evening, but there are questions to be asked about which Spurs players will take the field tomorrow. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, in comments to the media reported by the Standard, suggested that Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Mousa Dembele are all questionable to start tomorrow’s match at the Stade Louis II.
“We need to assess Kane, Dembele and Alli. Can they play 90 minutes? We can’t take any risks that may affect the next games. We have had one day less than Monaco to recover, as they played last Friday and we played on Saturday.
“It is very important to see whether the players are fully recovered so they can play without risk tomorrow. If we think it is a risk to start them, they can be on the bench and make an impact. It’s always important to start with 11 players where there is no risk.”
This match in particular is tricky, because Spurs turn around and head to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea this coming Saturday in a rematch of last Spring’s “Battle of the Bridge.” Kane, Alli, and Dembele are all in Monaco, but Pochettino will need to make some tough decisions, since all three of those players are just coming back from injuries.
Kane went the full 90 in Saturday’s win over West Ham, but in the Standard, Tom Collomosse suggests that Poche may not be willing to put too much stress on Kane’s recently healed ankle at the risk of him re-injuring himself. Dembele and Alli were also dealing with various knocks; Dembele was subbed off after 60 minutes against West Ham, and Alli looked rusty in a 15 minute cameo.
A loss to Monaco pretty much means Spurs will crash out of the Champions League in the group stages, but Pochettino unquestionably doesn’t want to put out a B-side on the road against a Chelsea squad that looks very good at the moment.
Elsewhere, Pochettino also ruled out Ben Davies, Toby Alderweireld, and Erik Lamela from the squad to face Monaco. Davies will miss a few weeks with an ankle injury, while Alderweireld and Lamela are still dealing with knee and hip injuries, respectively. It is likely that Eric Dier will continue to partner Jan Vertonghen in central defense, while Moussa Sissoko could return to the starting lineup after missing three Premier League matches due to suspension.