Spurs set to rest players for clash with Hammers
PUBLISHED: 15:01 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 26 April 2019
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Mauricio Pochettino's main focus may be on the derby encounter, but he will surely have one eye on the midweek Champions League tie
Tottenham Hotspur's injury problems show no signs of easing up ahead of Saturday's game with West Ham United in the Premier League.
After Spurs were without Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks and Serge Aurier for Tuesday's 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, it was hoped at least one of the aforementioned five would return for this weekend's derby.
However, the club this afternoon ruled them all out of the fixture with the Hammers and it leaves boss Mauricio Pochettino short of options.
Kane is continuing rehabilitation after suffering ankle ligament damage and had always been expected to miss the remainder of the league campaign.
The news on Erik Lamela doesn't appear any better with the Argentinian still absent with a hamstring injury and he has now missed close to two months of football since his most recent appearance away to Borussia Dortmund on March 5.
A return before the conclusion of the Premier League season all of a sudden seems quite unlikely for the former AS Roma attacker.
Serge Aurier is another out with a hamstring problem and no return date for him has been set which means Kyle Walker-Peters may get an opportunity against West Ham.
Pochettino should rest Kieran Trippier ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg tie with Ajax on Tuesday.
He could play Juan Foyth at right-back, but may opt for Walker-Peters there with Foyth an option to replace Jan Vertonghen in the heart of defence, given the Belgian has started the club's last seven matches since returning from international duty in March.
Danny Rose is another who will most likely find himself on the bench this weekend, so in his place will be Ben Davies.
Tottenham have a midfielder dilemma though, with Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks (both groin) unavailable again.
Ideally, Pochettino would have hoped to rest Victor Wanyama ahead of Tuesday, but the Kenya will probably have to start against West Ham alongside Eric Dier.
Spurs could line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation with Dele Alli's fitness protected after he was struggling at times during the win over Brighton.
Heung-min Son will definitely start, however, because he will miss the Ajax first leg due to suspension, so he will hope to carry on his hotstreak against the Hammers after finding the net twice against them in October and also last season.