Tottenham Hotspur are back in Premier League action this Sunday, hosting Manchester United. The big talking points are of course the ongoing drama swirling around United’s vacant managerial position and Mauricio Pochettino’s connections to that job. A side-effect of those questions are that we don’t really know how Manchester United is going to set up under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
What we do know is that Spurs are still muddling their way through an injury crisis. Spurs announced today in their pre-match team news update that Brazilian attacker Lucas Moura is likely going to miss the United match after picking up a knock in the FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers, an injury that kept him out of the matchday squad in the League Cup against Chelsea. Lucas will be assessed ahead of the match, but knowing Poch it seems unlikely he’d take a risk with him.
Spurs’ midfield cupboard continues to be emptyish as well — Spurs announced that Eric Dier is back participating in full training sessions, but is not yet match fit. Victor Wanyama is continuing his rehabilitation.
TEAM NEWS:@ericdier (appendicitis) has started to join in with some team training sessions and remains unavailable.@LucasMoura7 (knee) is being assessed ahead of Sunday’s match.@VictorWanyama (knee) is progressing to late stages of rehabilitation.#COYS pic.twitter.com/GJ69Nd0h5x— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 11, 2019
The release did not, however, mention Mousa Dembele or Jan Vertonghen, but Poch mentioned both of them in his pre-match press conference.
Jan/Dembele fitness: "I don't believe Mousa, still not match fit. He's training with the group, but not match fit. Vertonghen I need to assess because we have plenty of centre-backs. He's in the same position as Mousa. See if we have a space in the starting XI, bench or not.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) January 11, 2019
What this means in practical terms is that we are very likely to see the “air raid” offense again, utilizing all four legs of DESK against United. This is the last match before Son Heung-Min jets off to the middle east for the Asian Cup, and while United are on a five-match winning streak since sacking Jose Mourinho, they are unlikely to press Spurs as highly as Chelsea did in the League Cup. Even with Paul Pogba back and playing well in United’s midfield, this is a winnable match for Tottenham.