For the first time in recent memory Mauricio Pochettino will almost assuredly line up with a back four, more out of necessity than preference.
Toby Alderweireld, whose absence has contributed to Tottenham’s recent Premier League free fall, is out indefinitely, with no expected return date forthcoming. His hamstring is much worse than initially thought, disparaging news for Spurs and their supporters.
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Davinson Sánchez will miss his first of three contests after being suspended for a stiff arm on Watford’s Richarlison in last week’s away draw. The Colombian’s suspension should force Pochettino into reverting to a 4-3-2-1 formation.
Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier should be fully revitalized after their midweek rest and will form Spurs partnership in central defence. Juan Foyth enjoyed a strong performance against an impotent Apoel side, but the Argentinian still isn’t quite ready for full-fledged Premier League service.
Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies, who were also rested for Tottenham’s midweek win over Apoel, should also return to Pochettino’s starting XI.
Moussa Sissoko will most likely be given a rest, allowing for Mousa Dembélé to return. Harry Winks and Son Heung-Min were superb in Tottenham’s 3-0 comfortable midweek win, both of whom should retain their spot for the Stoke match.
Harry Kane, after a desperately needed rest, will return to the frontline, is looking for his 21st goal in all competitions in as many matches. Spurs marksmen – with 10 top flight goals – is chasing Mohamed Salah atop the goal-scoring chart. The Liverpool speedster is two goals ahead of Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.
Do you dispute any of the selections for the pivotal match tomorrow? I’d love to hear your opinion on Tottenham’s probably starting lineup for a game Tottenham must win to ease domestic pressure.
The Lilywhites have won a single Premier League match in their last six outings, dropping them to sixth place in the standing for the first time this season.