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Spurs facing potential double injury blow ahead of Sporting

Tottenham Hotspur could well be facing a notable setback ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Sporting CP, amid concerns over the fitness of both Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Cristian Romero.

What’s the word?

That key duo were ruled out of Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle United with what were believed to be “minor” injuries, although it remains to be seen if the pair will be fit to feature against Ruben Amorim’s side in just a few days’ time.

Speaking after that latest loss to the Magpies, Spurs boss Antonio Conte appeared uncertain as to whether Hojberg or Romero will be involved in the crucial midweek tussle in N17.

As per the Evening Standard, the Italian coach stated: “If you ask me in this moment, I don’t have an answer because I don’t know the way they recover from this fatigue and this situation.

“Romero was the last two or three games, he arrived every day half and half to decide if he plays or doesn’t play. I think in the past we have taken risk.

“The players gave their availability to play otherwise honestly if the player doesn’t want to play, I don’t force the player. Now after the game against United, he felt a lot of fatigue and then yesterday he felt fatigue in his calf. Before in his thigh, the right. Now left in the calf.

“Pierre it was the same because Pierre played every game, he played every minute and he was really tired.”

Awful news

That news has seemingly come at the worst possible time for Conte and co, with the Lilywhites currently in the midst of a hectic run of fixtures leading up to the World Cup break, with the north London outfit simply unable to afford such notable setbacks.

Having already been somewhat depleted of late by the absence of both Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison, adding Hojberg and Romero into the mix would be a further unwanted headache for the former Chelsea boss.

In the case of the latter, the Argentine international has sparkled since joining the Premier League outfit on an initial loan deal last summer, having notably been described as the signing of the season last term by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher – who also lauded the player’s “aggressive” and “street-wise” nature.

Not having that relentless presence in the side is an obvious blow for Tottenham, with his replacement Davinson Sanchez having been “desperately poor” in yesterday’s loss against the Tynesiders, as per Sky Sports reporter Ben Grounds (Live Blog, 23/10/2022, 17:41).

As for Hojberg, the Danish midfielder has largely been an ever-present for the club since his arrival from Southampton back in the summer of 2020, missing just three of his side’s 88 top-flight games in that time – with all those appearances having come from the start.

The former Saints ace has also added a goalscoring touch to his game this season with three goals in his 11 league outings, while the likes of Yves Bissouma and Oliver Skipp are yet to score, with Rodrigo Bentancur having just one goal to his name in all competitions.

To be without those two crucial figures on Wednesday could well hamper Spurs’ chances of getting a result, with it all still to play for with regards to knockout stage progression with just three points separating all four sides in Group D.