Spurs could be looking at a potential blow ahead of their Premier League clash against Manchester City on Sunday. Along with their recent injury updates, a concern has risen over Gareth Bale, who featured for Wales against players who later tested positive for coronavirus (via Manchester Evening News).
Whilst there’s no case of Bale having the virus himself, the rigorous testing at the club could flag something up following his international spell.
If the Real Madrid ace is forced to self-isolate, Jose Mourinho will be without options on the right-hand side. Erik Lamela will miss the City match after the manager confirmed he is “in the last period of his recovery”. This leaves only Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to deploy in Bale’s absence. However, the Brazilian has had an inconsistent season so far – despite starting the first three Premier League games of the term, he has been limited to substitute appearances since.
Moura played just ten minutes against West Ham last month and was left on the bench in Tottenham’s narrow win over Brighton. He reappeared in the most recent match against West Brom, but was limited to a 12 minute cameo (via Transfermarkt).
With the 28-year-old being somewhat out of favour, Mourinho could take a gamble and switch up his lineup to face his former club.
Moussa Sissoko has quite often played on the right for France – as he did against Sweden earlier this week – and puts his pace to good use down the flank. The gaffer could opt to put the £90,000 per week midfielder’s versatility to the test and position him on the right-hand side against City.
It will be a daring move with Bergwijn and Moura available for selection, but Sissoko’s balance of both attacking and defensive abilities will help get Spurs over the line.
Tony Cascarino was full of praise for Sissoko last season for making easy work of taking on Manchester City’s defence. He lauded the 31-year-old for his “danger” on the ball and claimed that once he beats his man, “there is no way he is going to be stopped”.
This would of course leave a gap in the midfield, which Mourinho can play safe with and start Harry Winks alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The two defensive midfielders will hopefully help to keep the likes of Kevin De Bruyne at bay.
It will certainly be a bold and potentially risky tactic from Mourinho, but Pep Guardiola will not be expecting it. Catching them out with the element of surprise could work very well in Spurs’ favour, who are currently second in the league table.