It’s that time of year when teams in England are stretched thin by the pile-up of fixtures that comes along with the festive season.
Tomorrow’s League Cup semifinal against Chelsea will be Tottenham’s sixth game in 16 days. Injuries have taken their toll on Spurs this year, but at this point the crisis has abated and there are just a handful of players still awaiting their returns to the pitch.
Here’s the team news ahead of Tuesday’s massive first leg at Wembley.
Lucas Moura picked up a couple bumps and bruises in the 7-0 victory over Tranmere on Friday. He was on the receiving end of a few tackles from the League Two side that had him slow to get up off the turf, but the Brazilian still managed to play the full 90 minutes.
He will be assessed before the Manchester United game, so this seems like a short-term issue for Lucas.
Erik Lamela hasn’t played since just before the holidays. He came on at halftime and picked up an assist in the 6-2 win over Everton on December 23rd. After that he was dealing with a calf injury, and he then recovered from that calf injury only to fall ill. Both his calf and his immune system have now appropriately recovered, so expect him to feature in some capacity against Chelsea.
Victor Wanyama hasn’t played since the November 10th match at Crystal Palace, but him and Eric Dier are still inching along in their recoveries. Wanyama has a knee injury while Dier is working his way back from surgery to remove his appendix.
Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele aren’t mentioned in the team news, but ahead of the Tranmere game the club said they had both returned to training with the squad. The Belgian duo should be available soon, but Pochettino said today they won’t be ready for the first leg of this semifinal.
Dele Alli had been dealing with a little hamstring injury since the Everton match, but he is also absent from the team news and should be good to go.
Poch also confirmed that Paulo Gazzaniga will get the nod in goal over Hugo Lloris.
Spurs will need all the help they can get as they try to take a step towards the League Cup final tomorrow at Wembley Stadium.