Tottenham Hotspur return to action in the Premier League this afternoon and know a victory would see them move back into the top four following a poor run of results.
Last time out, Jose Mourinho’s side bounced back from an embarrassing week in which they were defeated by arch-rivals Arsenal in the north London derby before being knocked out of the Europa League despite holding a two-goal advantage by Dinamo Zagreb.
Spurs defeated an in-form Villa outfit 2-0 on their own patch, and now travel up the country once more, this time to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park later today.
The Portuguese will be sweating on the fitness of several of his key stars, whilst a welcome name could return to the fold, so with that in mind, here’s our predicted XI and the latest team and injury news from the Lilywhites’ camp…
In total, there could be as many as three changes from the side that saw off Villa with ease.
Having missed the trip to Villa Park, Heung-min Son is set to return having enjoyed some time off to recover during the international break and he should come straight back in for £25m-rated beast Carlos Vinicius, who partnered Harry Kane up top in a rare formation change.
He could be joined by Gareth Bale in the attack after the Welshman was snubbed from the starting XI, whilst Lucas Moura is expected to move back into the no.10 role over the likes of Giovani Lo Celso – who is axed here – and forgotten star, Dele Alli.
It means the deeper midfield duo of Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to continue, leaving Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks on the bench.
The third and final change is likely to be at full-back, with Serge Aurier back from illness. He’ll take the place of Japhet Tanganga, who deputised to great effect. Perhaps it’s an unfair call, but the Ivorian has been Mourinho’s first-choice in the role for most of the campaign.
Ben Davies and Matt Doherty have both been ruled out and are subsequently unavailable for the trip, whilst Sergio Reguilon, who was withdrawn early through injury, is expected to be fit enough to start in the north-east.
At the back, Eric Dier could be overlooked once again, with Joe Rodon and Davinson Sanchez surely continuing in the middle after an impressive clean sheet last time out. It also means there is no place for Toby Alderwerield, who missed the Villa trip through illness too.
Hugo Lloris heads the XI back between the sticks.
AND in other news, Spurs: Jose Mourinho should unleash 18 y/o prodigy against Newcastle…