Tottenham Hotspur travel to France today for their Conference League group stage match against Rennes on Thursday, and it’s anyone’s guess what Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting lineup will look like. But we do have a pretty good idea whom it won’t involve.
According to Alasdair Gold at football.london, all of the players who missed last Sunday’s debacle at Crystal Palace are set to miss out on the match against Rennes as well. Son Heung-Min is recovering from a calf injury, and Eric Dier limped off against Palace with what is now being described as a “dead leg.” Gold expressed doubt that Sonny would be ready in time to face Chelsea at the weekend, but there’s a chance Dier could be available. Matt Law, however, suggests Sonny thinks he could still get himself fit in time.
Heung-Min Son has not given up on being fit to face Chelsea on Sunday. Would be a huge boost for Tottenham if he can make it. Dier hopeful too #thfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) September 15, 2021
Meanwhile, the ankle injury that Steven Bergwijn sustained while on international duty with the Netherlands appeared to be a minor one. He’s unlikely to feature in France, but could return against Chelsea. There was no mention of Ryan Sessegnon, who picked up a hamstring injury while with England’s U23s.
The South American trio of Cuti Romero, Gio Lo Celso, and Davinson Sanchez are set to return from their post-international isolation in Croatia on Saturday, one day before the Chelsea match. That puts them out of contention for Rennes and makes them officially a doubt for Chelsea, but it seems probable that at least one of them will factor at the weekend somehow.
The one player who does seem poised for a major role tomorrow is Tanguy Ndombele. After making the bench against Crystal Palace, and considering the horrible horrible performance of the midfield that started against Crystal Palace, it would behoove Nuno to consider getting Tanguy some minutes. A Conference League match at Rennes, a club he’s familiar with from his years at Lyon, would be a perfect opportunity for Ndombele to get his first minutes with the first team since Ryan Mason’s first match in charge.
Rennes are no slouches, but with a massive match against Chelsea looming, it’s fair to expect some healthy rotation if for no other reason that to allow Tottenham’s injured or returning stars a few extra days to get ready.