Tottenham have been handed a boost ahead of their clash against Southampton at St Mary’s. Jordy Clasie, the defensive midfielder for the Saints, has been ruled out for 10 days according to their manager Claude Puel (cited by Southampton’s official website).
The Dutchman has made 15 appearances in all competition for the Saints and also scored a goal for the side in the EFL Cup. The 25-year-old had joined Southampton last season from Feyenoord and has become a regular for the side.
Puel will certainly be upset at losing the midfielder for the clash. Southampton have been doing pretty well in the league campaign and taking on a rejuvenated Tottenham side without any protection for the defence would not have been on his mind.
Spurs did lose a game against Manchester United but have bounced back with consecutive victories and would be looking to carry the same form against the Saints. Southampton, for their part, are currently sitting in seventh place in the league and will be looking to close the gap on sixth-placed Manchester United with a win over Spurs.
A battle brewing for the top four places
While Chelsea have run away with the lead at the top of the Premier League, the rest of the places for the UEFA Champions League are up for grabs. Tottenham currently sit in fifth place but are just one point behind Arsenal ahead of the Christmas fixtures.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men did not have the best of campaigns in this season’s Champions League and will be playing in the Europa League in the new year. They would still want to return to Europe’s elite competition and that would mean getting results away from home as well.
Tottenham might have to prioritize the league now as they look to chase down the others in the top four places. The Europa League did affect their Premier League title charge last season as they completely fell apart while trying to chase Leicester City.
That experience would have helped the side understand the rigours of chasing trophies in multiple competitions. Pochettino also has brought in a lot of experience in Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko, though the latter is yet to show his ability on a consistent basis.
Hopefully, for Spurs, their players will start performing at their best. Players such as Vincent Janssen are yet to hit their best form and if Pochettino can get these players firing, things will be looking up for the Lilywhites.