January 14, 2024

With all three points at Manchester United on Sunday, Tottenham has the ideal chance to make a statement. With his team leading the Premier League and only six points behind leaders Liverpool, Ange Postecoglou has acknowledged that his team is vying for the league championship.


Now, in order to increase their chances of winning the title, Postecoglou’s team needs to prove that claim by triumphing at Old Trafford. That will be more difficult said than done, though, since Spurs will be missing a few important players going into the game.


The head coach clearly has alterations to make to his Tottenham XI from last time out against Burnley with a couple of new injury worries. What changes could he make for the crunch match, then? Below, football.london looks.


Cristian Romero returned to group training on Friday, giving Tottenham a significant injury boost ahead of their match against Manchester United. Due to a hamstring strain, he hasn’t played for Tottenham since the 2-1 victory over Everton before Christmas. If the World Cup winner is able to play at Old Trafford, it will be a major boost for Spurs.


Romero’s leadership abilities would be a huge plus for Spurs, especially with vice captain James Maddison sidelined by injury and captain Son Heung-min owing to international obligations. After completing his transfer from Genoa on Thursday night, new signing Radu Dragusin might make his debut if he’s not fit to play.


Despite some strong performances at center defense in recent weeks, Emerson Royal would most certainly be left out if one of the two were introduced.



Ben Davies / Micky van de Ven

Micky van de Ven made his Spurs squad comeback for the first time in two months, and the supporters were ecstatic to see him play in last week’s FA Cup match against Burnley. He was not going to come on late off the bench, though, as Spurs required attacking adjustments because they were having trouble breaking through.


After spending a whole week on the training field to further boost his level of fitness, Van van Ven is set to play for the first time since Chelsea defeated him 4-1 at home at the start of November. Since then, Ben Davies has filled the role of left-sided center-back, but a hamstring injury will keep him out of action for some time.


Hojbjerg, Pierre-Emile for Oliver Skipp

The addition of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to the midfield is one modification Postecoglou might consider making. Oliver Skipp has been selected ahead of the Dane in the last few games, so he has had to settle with minutes off the bench.


Given that the England Under-21 international didn’t play to his full capacity in the victory over Burnley, Hojbjerg might be able to enter the game. Given that Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma are on international duty and Giovani Lo Celso is injured, the head coach doesn’t exactly have a lot of choices in the midfield at the moment.


Giovani’s Timo Werner Celso

Given Lo Celso’s injury, it seems likely that Dejan Kulusevski will play in one of the No. 8 positions and drop back into midfield for the match against Old Trafford. The Swede has been playing well there lately, and as he attempts to connect midfield and attack, he may end up being a key player in the match.


In the event that Kulusevski withdraws from his right wing position, Timo Werner may make his Tottenham debut attacking from the left side. After joining Spurs on loan for the rest of the season, the German international arrived at the team on Tuesday night from RB Leipzig. He offers a plethora of experience to the team.


Training video from earlier in the week showed Werner, who can play from the left or through the middle, moving to the left side and delivering balls across the goal for Richarlison to finish. Should the 27-year-old be given his Tottenham debut at the Theatre of Dreams, he will be determined to make an impression right away.


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