The team news is out for Tottenham Hotspur’s weekend clash against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, and while there’s quite a bit of bad news, there’s also some good. Spurs announced at the press conference that four players are out with injury — Mousa Dembele continues to rehabilitate from his ankle injury in Qatar, while Davinson Sanchez, Danny Rose, and Kieran Trippier remain on the injured list.
The club noted that Danny Rose is in “the final stages of rehabilitation” before returning to full training, and Davinson Sanchez is expected to return before the end of the calendar year. Kieran Trippier is set to return before the end of November. But that doesn’t help the club before Saturday.
And that’s not the worst of it, either — Spurs’ three Argentinian players are also unlikely to feature after only just returning from the international break on Thursday. That likely rules out midfielder (and good-stats-radar-haver) Erik Lamela, defender Juan Foyth, and reserve keeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed I omitted a name. That’s because Spurs also announced that defender Jan Vertonghen returned to full training this past week and might even be in contention to start alongside Toby Alderweireld at Wembley.
TEAM NEWS: @JanVertonghen has returned to full training. pic.twitter.com/3RkDFznTq6— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 22, 2018
That is HUGE. With Foyth jet-lagged and Sanchez injured, the alternative is to start a back four with Alderweireld and Eric Dier, and I’m not sure anyone really wants to see that. Hopefully Jan is ready to be thrown back into the fire.
The Chelsea match is the first in an absolutely brutal week for Spurs that includes a Champions League must-win at home vs. Inter Milan, and a North London Derby at the Emirates. Spurs will need good performances from just about everyone on their squad to make it through the next week.