Maurico Pochettino has admitted that it’s ‘almost impossible’ that Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Hugo Lloris will be fit to face Newcastle on Saturday.
All nine were involved at this summer’s World Cup, and with England, Belgium and France all making it to the last four and into the final few days of the tournament, they’ve only just returned to Tottenham for their first training session back today.
With the new season just a few five days away, Pochettino has spoken out about their availability ahead of Saturday’s trip to St James’ Park – and it sounds like good news for Rafa Benitez and NUFC.
Here’s what he’s had to say, suggestng it’s ‘almost impossible’ for them to play and a big ‘risk’ after such a short break:
“It would be better for these players (who were involved on the final weekend of the World Cup finals) to miss the first one or two games, than to play and end up getting injured, missing more games further down the line.
“It is a massive challenge for these players to get fit in time for the Newcastle game…almost impossible.
“If we feel it is too much of a risk to play these players, then no matter how much work they have been doing, we will not play them.
“I messaged Harry Kane (after he turned up for training early) saying he was showing great commitment. He replied ‘Gaffer, I want to be ready for Newcastle.’
“I told him you need to rest, because 20 days is the minimum time you need to have off at the end of a season, to ensure a full recovery.
“It shows great commitment, but we will assess all of the returning players on Monday, and we will not be taking any risks.
“It’s going to be a long season and we need to ensure that these players have had the right amount of recovery before starting it.”
Not only are NINE of their World Cup stars looking very likely to miss out, but star winger Heung-Min Son also looks set to miss out, with him being away at the Asian games with South Korea.
There’s also doubts over midfielder duo Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks, meaning Spurs really could be forced to field their second team on Saturday.
Good news for us – let’s just hope we can take advantage of it!
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