Tottenham Hotspur will still be without two first-team stars as they welcome Manchester United in the Premier League this afternoon.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, Jose Mourinho revealed that he had no fresh injury concerns, though full-back duo Matt Doherty and Ben Davies will still be absent.
He told reporters (via football.london):
“Ben Davies and Matt Doherty are the only players that are not available to play. So they are still injured. Of course, [they are] getting better.”
Spurs not only missed out on the chance to break into the top four in the top-flight last Sunday, but they too repeated an all too familiar trend of dropping valuable points.
Having led in 21 of 30 matches this term, Mourinho’s side have now dropped a whopping 15 points from winning positions – something that would see them occupy second place, ahead of today’s opposition.
The Portuguese would undoubtedly love to freshen up his starting XI as a result of their lacklustre performances over the last few weeks, a run which includes them crashing out of the Europa League early and losing a north London derby.
Without Doherty and Davies as options, he’s unable to tinker his backline too much as he merely doesn’t have the choice to do so.
At left-back, it’s a pretty straight forward decision as only Sergio Reguilon is fit and available. He didn’t have the best game up at St James’ Park, grading as Spurs’ second-worst starter (6.5), as per SofaScore ratings.
But he can be lucky that the Welshman won’t be fit, especially as his defensive exploits could be preferred to combat a lethal-looking United frontline.
However, on the right, Mourinho is left in a big predicament.
Before the international break, he opted for the inexperienced Japhet Tanganga against Aston Villa and it paid off, with Spurs winning 2-0 and the young 20-year-old gem played a key role in keeping that clean sheet.
He kept his place against Newcastle and somewhat endured a tough game as he picked up a yellow card for his troubles. Interestingly, there was no Serge Aurier in the matchday squad and as Mourinho suggests above, they have no other injury concerns.
The Ivorian international could well come back into the side, but either way, it gives Mourinho a massive headache. United’s front three of Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Edison Cavani have scored 32 goals between them this term alone, so the experience of Aurier may well be needed.
Whether he sticks with Tanganga or goes back to Aurier remains to be seen; Doherty would’ve posed an interesting solution despite his own struggles this campaign.
AND in other news, Levy on verge of fatal mistake over Spurs’ £25m “big, big talent”…