Tottenham Hotspur have the rare gift of a week off of Premier League action and a (supposedly) easy FA Cup fixture this weekend, and it’s come at the right time. One week after what feels like the whole team came down with the flu, Spurs have a bunch of players that are recovering from a raft of minor injuries. Tottenham released team news ahead of Saturday’s match at Newport County and seven players were specifically mentioned.
Despite declaring himself fit a couple of days ago, Toby Alderweireld is still on the injury list and it seems that Mauricio Pochettino is taking it slow when it comes to his participation in meaningful match minutes. Likewise Danny Rose, who the club says “has commenced early stages of integration into first team training.”
Harry Winks and Serge Aurier are also both doubts vs. Newport: Winksy is still coming back from what appears to be a slow-healing ankle injury, and Aurier has a calf injury sustained in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Southampton. Meanwhile, Erik Lamela apparently has a “bruised gluteus muscle” which is just a fancy way of saying he landed hard on his #butt.
But there’s perhaps some good news. Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris are both being assessed after missing the Soton match with the flu and are doing gym work, and while Son Heung-Min also reportedly played sick last weekend, he wasn’t mentioned at all and presumably is feeling fine now.
ESPN’s Dan Kilpatrick went a bit further than the official report, saying that we shouldn’t expect Toby, Danny, Serge, and Winksy at all this weekend.
#thfc Alderweireld, Rose, Aurier, Winks all not expected to play any part against Newport. Eriksen & Lamela to be assessed. A chance for the kids?— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) January 25, 2018
As Dan says, this likely means is that there will be some opportunities for fringe and youth team players against Newport. This likely means starts for Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters, and Tashan Oakley-Boothe was spotted training with the first team this week.
In theory, Spurs shouldn’t have much trouble with a Newport County team that’s currently 8th in League 2 at the moment. However, the match will be played in a tiny stadium on a pitch that regularly hosts rugby matches, so the conditions won’t be ideal.