It seems like Tottenham Hotspur has been run through a meat grinder recently but the matches just keep on coming. Three days after Spurs narrowly escaped the Molineux with a 3-2 Premier League win over Wolves, they are back in action at Wembley Stadium for a Tuesday night Champions League rematch over PSV.
And, like it has been so often this season, they are going into the match with some significant holes in their squad. Spurs will need to dig deep into their bench for rotation and positional replacements, as the club announced this morning that six players will not feature against the Eredivisie leaders. Club captain and starting keeper Hugo Lloris is suspended for this fixture after picking up a red card late in the previous match in Eindhoven. There are also ongoing injuries to Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, and Victor Wanyama.
There are some interesting tidbits from Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference today as well. Victor Wanyama’s injury is to his knee, but NOT to the knee that kept him out earlier — it appears he has now injured his other knee, which is, well, not great.
Pochettino also noted that he is taking it easy with Dele Alli’s recovery, hinting that Dele might not start the match or might be an early substitute. Dele notably was not in the traveling squad that went to Wolves this past weekend.
MP says Alli is available to face PSV but cautious of his chances of playing 90 minutes. "He needs to work a lot to build his fitness."— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 5, 2018
The injury to Mousa Dembele is also not great news. The Spurs midfielder rolled his ankle in the opening minutes against Wolves and was subbed off for Son Heung-Min. Pochettino couched it in a positive manner — essentially saying that injury could’ve been worse — but it sure does seem like we won’t see Moose on the pitch for a while.
Finally, Pochettino threw a curve ball by casting into doubt who he will select to be in goal at Wembley tomorrow in this super critical fixture. With Hugo Lloris suspended, Michel Vorm would normally be considered the most likely to get the start, but Poch said he’s still not sure who will get it, and even tossed out a left-field suggestion.
#thfc MP says he still hasn't decided who will play in goal tomorrow - claims there's an equal chance for Vorm, Gazzaniga & Alfie Whiteman.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 5, 2018
Whiteman, an academy graduate, has made the bench a couple of times this season for Spurs matches but has yet to make his first team debut. If Poch decides to roll the dice with Alfie, it would be a huge vote of confidence in the young keeper, but also super-duper surprising.
With both Dier and Wanyama still out it looks as though we can probably expect some combination of Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, or Christian Eriksen in Spurs’ midfield, though don’t sleep on Oliver Skipp possibly being pressed into duty at some point.