Tottenham’s plans for a massive week of fixtures have been disrupted through injury.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was hoping to have defender Toby Alderweireld on place for the Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday as well as Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal, but reports in the Mirror and Telegraph on Monday suggest that he is almost certain to miss the first game, and is facing a losing battle to be fit for the second.
In fact, he may not even be fit for Belgium’s next two matches, a friendly against the Netherlands on Novermber 9th and a World Cup qualifier against Estonia four days later.
Alderweireld has not played since coming off with a knee injury in Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion on October 15th. Since then, they have failed to win a match, drawing three and losing one.
Pochettino’s side are looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season, as well as increase their chances of securing early progress to the next round of the Champions League, so to have such a vital defensive cog as Alderweireld absent will be a huge loss to them.
In the Belgian international’s absence, Eric Dier is likely to continue to partner Jan Vertonghen in the centre of defence as he has done for the past few games.
In more positive news, Harry Kane could be set to feature this weekend. The star striker has not played since coming off in Tottenham’s 1-0 against Sunderland in the middle of September with an ankle ligament injury, but has returned to training.
Although Pochettino is adamant that Kane will not be rushed back into action to alleviate the side’s goalscoring troubles, it would not be a surprise to see him at least make the bench at the Emirates on Sunday.