The team news is out for Sunday’s match against Liverpool, and there’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good news! The club announced via Twitter that left back Ben Davies and winger Georges-Kevin N’Koudou have returned to full training.
Davies had missed Spurs’ past two matches — against Bournemouth and Real Madrid — with an unspecified illness (that most people assume was the flu). N’Koudou had missed a few days after sustaining a concussion in the waning moments of the Bournemouth match but appears to have received no lasting damage. Having Davies in particular back is a boost to Spurs: while Danny Rose has returned to the first team, we’re not sure if he’s fit enough to go 90 minutes against Liverpool. Sadio Mane is injured for Liverpool, so there’s no chance of the repeat of last year’s disastrous match against Liverpool in that regard.
And there’s more good news: Erik Lamela is finally — finally! — on the verge of his return to the Tottenham match day squad. Mauricio Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference that Lamela is likely to play in Wednesday’s League Cup match against West Ham, and could even make the bench against Liverpool.
“I hope maybe he can be on the bench against West Ham, but it’s not sure. It’s about waiting but he’s been doing very well in the last few weeks, with the team in training. We only need to wait for that click where he feels ‘yes, I feel I can cope with the competition’.”
It’s not all good news, though. Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, Tottenham’s starting midfield for much of last season, are both still out. Dembele was on his way back but seems to have reinjured himself in training before the Real Madrid match, and Wanyama does not seem to be healing in the way the club hoped.
“We are concerned about Wanyama’s situation. We must wait for when he sees the specialist and then we’ll see what happens.
“But of course after some time without him involved in the training sessions and with the team, we are concerned. But now we need to wait next week to have a more clear idea of what’s going on.
Spurs assistant Jesus Perez said that Dembele’s situation is more straight-forward, but still disappointing.
“He had an incident in one of the training sessions [before the Real Madrid game], and complained about one of his hips and he’s not able to cope with the intensity of the training.
“It’s as simple as that. It’s been three or four days since the incident and he can’t cope with the intensity of the training.”
As for Liverpool, they will face off against Spurs without two of their most important players. Sadio Mane continues to rehabilitate from a hamstring injury, while Adam Lallana is out with a thigh strain. Nathaniel Clyne will also miss the match.