It’s been a long two weeks, but the Premier League is back after the latest international break with a full slate of matches this weekend. Tottenham Hotspur are set to play against
Geordie Arabia Newcastle United at St. James’ Park this Sunday, and manager Nuno Espirito Santo sat down in front of the assembled media for his first comments to the press since after Spurs’ 2-1 win over Aston Villa on October 3.
Nuno provided an update on Spurs’ South American international players — Cuti Romero & Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), Davinson Sanchez (Colombia), and Emerson Royal (Brazil) — all of whom played World Cup qualifying matches matches late Thursday and who are traveling back to London today via chartered jet. Nuno said he expects all four back sometime Friday and will be assessed as to their fitness and availability for Newcastle.
“Yeah, they are travelling now. They will join us tomorrow and then we’ll see. The reports that we have is that they finished their games well. Some of them played 90 minutes, Davinson Sanchez no, but what we are expecting is for them to join us and then we’ll see.
“During an international break, always these situations happen. Some players play a lot of games, some play don’t even get one minute. And that is what causes disruption. Because after that, when you receive them, some of them come very happy because they achieve fantastic things like Hugo did, some of them come really sad like [Sergio Reguilon] and Bryan [Gil], some like you said with a lot of minutes on their legs, some just go there, sleep and eat. It causes a lot of problems. But what’s happening now, what we want is for them to return as soon as possible, like tomorrow, some of them already joined us. But it’s always disruption.”
Obviously it’s impossible to predict a lineup for Sunday’s match with the status of all four players up in the air. And add another one to the mix — winger Steven Bergwijn apparently returned to full training this past week after recovering from a foot injury sustained in the LAST international break with the Netherlands. Nuno was again cagy as to whether Bergwijn would feature against Newcastle, but said that he’s “totally integrated” in the first team.
“[Berwijn] joined us yesterday. He is totally integrated with the group. Trained well yesterday, trained well today. No pain. So it’s about getting back to his highest levels of fitness, but he’s in the process of it.
“We don’t know [if he’ll play vs. Newcastle] because like I said, first of all we have to be everybody together, then we will assess and prepare and decide.”
Sunday’s match will be the first match for Toon since their takeover by the Saudi Arabia PIF, but while Newcastle manager Steve Bruce’s job is under question, he will be available to manage his 1000th career match, a major milestone.
The match kicks off Sunday morning at 11:30 a.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. UK.