Tottenham had a whole week... seven actual days without a match... to prepare for Sunday’s match against Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and they crapped it away. Unfortunately, they won’t have that kind of a rest again for a while. Spurs has already dropped team news ahead of the home Boxing Day fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, and while there’s some good news, the Chelsea match also brought a whole bunch of bad.
First, let’s get the good news out: Erik Lamela has returned to training! The Argentine has missed the past couple of months with another hip injury, which is a shame considering how brightly he started this season. He has yet to feature in a match under Jose Mourinho. That leaves only Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies on the injury list, the smallest that list has been for a long time.
I doubt we’ll actually see him — there just isn’t enough time for him to get fit in time to play on Boxing Day, though he’ll probably get his chance in the early part of the new year.
The bad news is that while the injury list is short, Davies and Lloris are joined by Son Heung-Min, who will be serving the first of a three-match suspension for violent conduct after picking up a red card against Chelesa.
The absence of Sonny, combined with a mid-week match means that we’re going to see a shaken-up starting XI against the Seagulls. We don’t know what that means yet, but we will probably see more time for Tanguy Ndombele in central midfield, and possibly a return of Christian Eriksen to the starting lineup. (Or, and whisper it now, Giovani Lo Celso on the wing. Shhhhhhhhh.) We’ll just have to wait and see.