Tottenham could be without three starters on Sunday when Spurs host Everton, should Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen not pass their fitness tests tomorrow.
Big news coming out of Hotspur Way, Enfield with Mauricio Pochettino discussing three players being a doubt — as of right now — for Everton: Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Speaking two days prior to hosting the Toffees at White Hart Lane, Pochettino has stated that the trio of players mentioned above could still play on Sunday, but they must pass their final fitness test tomorrow.
Based on how it goes, Tottenham could either be at full strength minus Danny Rose and Érik Lamela or be undermanned with Spurs needing to find suitable replacements for their striker and two center-backs.
“They are doubts for Sunday,” Pochettino admitted during his press conference. “We need to wait until tomorrow to assess them and then make a decision. We will see tomorrow.”
Despite suffering from some form of knock and being subbed out as a precaution, Kane, Alderweireld and Vertonghen weren’t listed with a specific ailment on Spurs’ official website when discussing team news earlier in the day.
Pochettino did however talk about how all three players are progressing well and should still be available — assuming they pass their tests.
“He [Vertonghen] was injured, he worked very hard to try to be fit and play as soon as possible, he played against Fulham, Gent and then we were cautious because he was a little tired, but we trust that he’ll be ready to play on Sunday,” Mauricio Pochettino said when answering a question regarding Jan Vertonghen’s injury.
“He’s still a doubt and we need to assess him tomorrow. He’s in good position like Harry and Toby and I trust tomorrow the tests will be positive and he’ll be available to play.”
A more pertinent question regarding a potential absence of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen once again, didn’t seem to faze the Argentine manager.
The 44-year-old is confident that Spurs have capable backups to step up and get the job done. The same thing at striker even if Vincent Janssen hasn’t gotten enough playing time lately.
On a potential absence for Spurs’ starting center-backs: “Sometimes things happen and you have some problems in the squad with some players but we are confident and we trust if they are not fit to play then the players who replace them can perform as well.”
“It’s true we play against a very good team with very good players and Lukaku is in form, but we trust in the whole squad and if they [Jan/Toby] are not available we are sure we’ll compete in the same way.”
On whether Pochettino is confident in Janssen’s abilities: “Yes, but you need to analyse the game. We had a few problems, Toby, Jan, okay, it’s 4-0 but it was up to me to choose between Son and Vincent and we decided to replace Harry with Sonny.”
“I try to be honest and fair and I’m happy with how he’s reacted in the last few weeks. I’m happy with his reaction and he realises he needs to fight on the training ground and in training sessions and give me the confidence and trust to give the possibility to play.”
“He’s taken a good way now to fight for his place here.”
For the time being, Tottenham will have three doubts for Sunday in the form of Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
Should they pass their final fitness tests, they’ll be available for selection to play. Most likely as a starter to keep their unbeaten home record alive.
However, if it doesn’t go well and they all fail their tests, Spurs’ odds of beating Everton take a massive hit with their star striker and starting central defense all out.
As for Vincent Janssen, it’s good to see that he’s doing well in the training ground, but until his minutes improve, he still has a long way to go to prove himself that he can cut it in the Premier League and with Spurs.