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Spurs hopeful of Sissoko and Vertonghen return ahead of Champions League semi-final

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This would be a massive boost!

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final: First Leg Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Tottenham are just over 24 hours away from the first leg of their improbable semi-final appearance in the UEFA Champions League against Dutch club Ajax. Spurs may still be licking their wounds a bit from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against West Ham, but received more help on Sunday with Leicester pounding Arsenal into the ground before Chelsea and Manchester United played to a 1-1 draw. While Top 4 is still not locked in place, Spurs are still in the driver’s seat in the league.

Attention has turned to Tuesday’s match, however. Spurs are still the walking wounded and a few players will be unavailable, such as Harry Kane and Harry Winks, but Dan Kilpatrick has reported from Tottenham’s training ground in Enfield today giving fans a huge boost.

Moussa Sissoko was last seen leaving the pitch at the Etihad in the second leg of the Manchester City tie when Spurs advanced in the most dramatic way possible. The report was a groin injury to the French International, but there was no real information on the severity. Mauricio Pochettino was his usual vague self and said it could be a couple of weeks but they weren’t sure. Apparently they pulled some of Kane’s healing abilities from him and gave it to Sissoko, and that would be a gigantic boost to this squad. Jan Vertonghen had a minor knock over the weekend and was kept out to give him a rest, and it sounds like that was for the best if he’s ready to go tomorrow.

Erik Lamela does not appear to be ready to go after re-injuring his hamstring and, as noted by Dank P, Vincent Janssen is not eligible for Champions League because he wasn’t registered at the end of the January window. With Kane still down and Sonny suspended, Spurs may be forced to play their entire attacking compliment remaining to start unless they go very defensive and save someone for the second half. It’s possible that one of Dele, Eriksen, or Lucas could sit the first half if a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 is utilized and that wouldn’t be bad to have fresh legs to run at Ajax in the second half.

Lineup predictions aside, having Moussa Sissoko back is a game changer. He’s been immense in his midfield role and can take a lot of pressure off of either Wanyama or Dier, depending on who starts in the six spot.