Tottenham Hotspur fans were already sweating minor injuries to two of its starters sustained during the international break this week. Now, there’s a third and it could be the most significant. Cristian Romero was subbed off midway through Argentina’s scoreless draw with Brazil last night with what could be a hamstring injury. Now he will return to London to be assessed as to whether he’ll be able to play in Spurs’ weekend match against Leeds United.
The good news for Cuti was the result was enough for Argentina to mathematically qualify for the World Cup along with Brazil, though there was never really any doubt that both nations would qualify. The bad news is that nobody knows just how severe his injury is or how much time (if any) he could miss.
Losing Cuti would be a blow, but perhaps one that isn’t as significant under Antonio Conte as it might under Nuno Espirito Santo. Conte’s tactics, and the fact that he’s had two weeks now to work with Spurs players NOT named Cuti Romero, suggest that a shuffling of back line personnel could result in a solid defense this weekend, if Davinson Sanchez or Joe Rodon are able to slot in beside Eric Dier. It’s never good to lose your best defender, but I feel strangely zen about it considering the system that Conte is trying to implement.
Spurs also had two other players pick up knocks this past week. Son Heung-Min had a slight injury in training — he’s fine and scored a penalty in Korea’s win over Iraq yesterday — while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was also injured while with Denmark and could also miss this weekend’s match.
It wasn’t all bad news, though. Steven Bergwijn started for the Netherlands and scored the winning goal that clinched a win over a Haaland-less Norway as well as qualification to the World Cup. And it was a banger.
Netherlands are are moments away from the World Cup!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 16, 2021
Bergwijn to the rescue pic.twitter.com/o9oeUnhp8a
Elsewhere, Joe Rodon and Ben Davies got Wales to the UEFA World Cup playoffs by earning a point in a 1-1 draw against Belgium.