The Lilywhites topped their Champions League group thanks to a last-minute winner against Marseille in midweek but it came at a price as Heung-min Son has been ruled out of their remaining matches before the World Cup in Qatar.
Now, according to the Italian, fellow winger Lucas Moura is a big doubt heading into kick-off today. He told reporters during his pre-game press conference (via football.london):
“The problem is Lucas Moura is having some different faces for his pain in his tendon. Today he was really bad and he said to me he was really worried for this but I ask of him to try to be available because we need [him].”
Whilst a merely peripheral figure of Conte’s first-team squad, having the Brazilian international unavailable would be a frustrating blow, given the mounting injury problems at Hotspur Way.
Emerging fan-favourite Rodrigo Bentancur – last weekend’s match-winner in the win over AFC Bournemouth – has also been nursing a knock, whilst the dangerous Dejan Kulusevski has only managed half a training session before this massive encounter, so his potential to start has to be rather slim.
It leaves the 53-year-old boss with a bit of a conundrum in attack and whilst Jurgen Klopp’s side are languishing down in ninth place, they have been a whole lot better in recent outings and have had their own injury woes to deal with, particularly in defence.
Without the majority of his aforementioned attacking stars, Conte may well have to call upon the relatively inexperienced Bryan Gil to help Harry Kane in the attack, if not push Ivan Perisic further forward to his old position in the final third, having been converted into a wing-back by the Italian at Inter Milan.
Either way, the comments surrounding Moura – who started and played the full 90 in midweek against Les Olympiens – are worrying, especially over his potential to start against Liverpool.
These injuries keep piling up before the long domestic winter break and that will surely leave Conte reeling as he looks to keep Spurs in the top-four race, where they still remain third despite inconsistent and unconvincing outings over the past month or so.