Tottenham Hotspur take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League this weekend and will hope to bounce back from a poor showing in their 2-2 draw with Rochdale in the FA Cup.
It was a hard-fought battle at Rochdale and Mauricio Pochettino was understandably disappointed after our team conceded a stoppage-time equaliser. The 2-2 draw allowed the League Two opposition to set up a replay at Wembley. However, Spurs will be buoyant and will look to continue their good form when they travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.
Pochettino will have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with the exception being Toby Alderweireld, as Pochettino looks to extend our side’s 14-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Alderweireld, who has just returned from a hamstring injury, has been restricted to only FA Cup competitions and he featured against Newport and Rochdale. But our gaffer has confirmed that the Belgian couldn’t finish the training session yesterday and will be assessed before a final decision is made.
“It was only Toby yesterday that could not finish the training session,” Pochettino told in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Palace game (quoted by Football.london).
“He suffered a small incident in the same leg. We are going to assess him today and tomorrow. We will see if he’s available for training and if it’s possible to be selected for the weekend. We hope it’s not a big issue.”
When asked about Alderweireld’s chances of featuring against the Eagles and regarding the player’s contract, the manager added:
“Look I told you, we are going to assess him tomorrow and until tomorrow we cannot decide nothing, if it’s possible to be, first of all to be training and second to be available to play.”
“I am not involved in negotiations. I never talk about rumours, what the media say or what happens around the club. It’s not my job. I cannot say nothing about that.
“I only not talk about injuries only for caution. He did not finish the training session but we need to assess him. It is in the same leg but I think it is a different area.”
If Alderweireld is ruled out, then Davinson Sanchez is expected to start alongside Jan Vertonghen in the middle of our defence this weekend.
January signing Lucas Moura marked his full Spurs debut with a goal in the 2-2 draw against Rochdale. Pochettino was asked about the Brazilian’s performance and the chances of the player starting this game, to which our boss replied:
“I think I was happy with his performance, his attitude and capacity to adapt to the group and to the club and to the team. It’s true it’s not easy to play when you haven’t played for seven months. Then everything is new.
“Of course, I’m so happy, the people are happy and the player is so happy. His team-mates are so happy with him, because of his behaviour, he’s so humble. He works hard every day to try to improve. That is so important. He’s a quality player, we hope that he shows and has the opportunity to show his quality here.”
Poch also said that Moura will be assessed as he played after a very long gap.
“We need to assess him too because he played 70 minutes after a long, long period that he didn’t play. We need to assess him. We’ll see. We have another training session tomorrow and we need to assess all the players.
“We have nearly everyone fit, nearly 24 players in a position to be selected, and of course we need to assess everyone and then we need to pick 18 players to play against Palace on Sunday,” he added.
It is expected to be an end-to-end battle at Selhurst Park as Palace, who are without a win since January will come all guns blazing against our team.
Let us hope to continue our good form and win all three points to keep the pressure on Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.