The holiday season is almost over, but a tight fixture list still poses some challenges for Tottenham Hotspur next week. On Tuesday, Spurs face Swansea City in Wales. Then just two days later they’re back at Wembley for a key London Derby against West Ham.
Two games in two days is tough, but the good news is that Swansea and West Ham are both near the bottom of the table. Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be expected to beat them, and they could also receive a boost from a key player returning from injury.
That’s right, Victor Wanyama is back!
TEAM NEWS: @VictorWanyama (knee) has returned to full training with the first team. pic.twitter.com/LAPygdY3dA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 29, 2017
Wanyama hasn’t appeared for Spurs since the 2-1 loss to Chelsea on August 20th. The Kenyan’s knee injury kept him out longer than he would’ve liked, but a return at this point in the season is almost like a new signing.
It seems unlikely that Big Vic would start either game next week, but a spot on the bench is very possible. Tottenham have missed the physicality and depth he provides to the squad.
The news on Harry Kane is less encouraging, but also clearly not anything to panic about. He missed training today with a cold, and presumably should be good to go on Tuesday.
But there’s also a chance that Pochettino will decide to rest Kane after what has been a hectic period for him. Kane broke Alan Shearer’s record for Premier League goals in a calendar year, and expended a good bit of energy to do so. He played a full 90 minutes in every Tottenham match in December, except for the meaningless Champions League game with APOEL Nicosia.
Even if Kane gets the day off, Swansea are really bad. They were just trounced 5-0 by Liverpool, and Spurs will be looking for a similar scoreline on Tuesday no matter who is in the lineup.
And you know there is no chance that Kane misses the West Ham game. The man lives for London Derbies.