Mauricio Pochettino has a litany of selection qualms in the lead up to Tottenham’s fourth round FA Cup match with Newport on Saturday.
Serge Aurier and Erik Lamela joined the list of walking wounded after the draw at St. Mary’s on Sunday. Lamela suffered an unfortunate setback, bruised his gluteus maximum while Aurier damaged his calf in the draw with Southampton.
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Toby Aldweireld could be ready for some action in Wales but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pochettino err on the side of caution. Alderweireld is one of the most important members of Pochettino’s side and playing him on an inadequate pitch, particularly when taking a recovering hamstring into consideration, might prove too risky. Then again, if fully fit, the Newport match offers an opportune moment for the Belgian to regain some match fitness.
Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen are still battling the flu. Even if the duo are healthy, Pochettino will opt to save Lloris for Manchester United on Wednesday; he might be forced to start Eriksen with the limited options at his disposal.
Danny Rose is still unavailable, with the English left back being slowly reintegrated back into first team training.
Juan Foyth may be given another FA Cup runout, but only if Alderweireld doesn’t start. It’s too big of a gamble to play the inexperienced Foyth beside Alderweireld, even against League 2 Newport. If Alderweireld starts, either Sánchez, Jan Vertonghen or Eric Dier will join him in Spurs’ rearguard.
Lamela, if the bruise on his bum isn’t too debilitating, could start instead of Eriksen or Son Heung-Min.
There are many possible permutations and combinations for the Newport match, so it will be interesting who Pochettino goes with. With United beckoning on Wednesday, expect Pochettino to rely on as many fringe players as humanly possible for the forthcoming tussle with the League 2 side.
Whatever side Pochettino decides on, the starting 11 should have enough to see Tottenham through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.