Andre Villas-Boas is facing going into the north London derby this Saturday missing some key regulars from the Tottenham Hotspur first team.
It is doubtful whether Jermain Defoe, Moussa Dembele, Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon will be fit enough to play in the Premier League clash at Arsenal this weekend.
Moussa Dembele will definitely not be able to play a part in the match, with Villas-Boas confirming the midfielder has not recovered sufficiently from an injury to his hip. He has carried a knock since October, but aggravated the issue when playing for Belgium.
It is expected that Tom Huddlestone will replace the Belgian and team up in the centre of midfield with Sandro.
“Dembele will not be back for this game. There is a 50 per cent chance he will be ready to play Lazio on Thursday. At the moment surgery is out of the question – hopefully,” Villas-Boas said.
Walker, Defoe and Lennon all face late fitness tests after having to withdraw from last night’s international friendly between England and Sweden as they are all suffering from hamstring strains.
However, the Tottenham boss is hopeful they will be sufficiently fit for Saturday.
“They haven’t trained with the team yet. They trained separately on Wednesday in a recovery session away from the team,” he added.
“We have to see how they return; see if there is any disturbance. Lennon had a scan on Wednesday and it’s fine on his hamstring. We have to wait and see. They have had quite enough time to rest and recover.”
Tottenham are also still trying to cope with existing long-term problems with Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker.
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