It’s understood that up to six Tottenham Hotspur players and two staff members have tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the club’s pivotal Conference League match against Rennes on Thursday.
The severity of the outbreak is yet to be confirmed, but losing six players, regardless of who they are, is a heavy blow to a team brimming with confidence. It’s another challenge for Antonio Conte and his staff, and only those with influence at the club will know which players, if confirmed, are effected by the outbreak.
Whether it’s the more transmissible new variant, Omicron, or not, staff will be extremely cautious about how the club proceeds. Spurs face a must win match on Thursday in the European Conference League. That match, barring any unforeseen developments, will go ahead as scheduled. The match would only be postponed in the event that less than 13 registered players are available, an extremely unlikely scenario.
The severity of impact will depend on which players have tested positive, and whether — after PCR tests on Tuesday — the outbreak is confirmed. If confirmed, Conte will most likely be forced to rotate some players for Thursday and Sunday’s match at Brighton.
The continuation of Spurs’ rich vein of form is predicated on having their most influential players ready for selection, so hopefully the impact on first team players is minimal.
We will know more when news breaks of the specificities on Tuesday morning. Until then, let’s hope this story fizzles away without escalation. Though we best prepare ourselves for a potentially tumultuous forthcoming fortnight in north London.