Spurs team news: Lamela fit to face Man United as Pochettino waits to assess Vertonghen and N’Jie
Erik Lamela is available for Tottenham’s clash against Manchester United at White Hart Lane on Sunday, while Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie will be assessed in tomorrow’s final training session.
Lamela missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Anfield but is fit to return, while Pochettino will make a late decision on N’Jie and Vertonghen, who have been absent since December and January respectively with knee injuries.
“Erik Lamela trained very well during the whole week and will be available for Sunday,” reported head coach Mauricio Pochettino. “[Nabil] Bentaleb is out.
“We need to assess Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’jie - they have trained very well and we need to assess them tomorrow.”
Vertonghen’s imminent return will give Pochettino a tricky selection dilemma, as summer signing Kevin Wimmer has been an able deputy, starting the last 15 games in all competitions.
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“We will see what happens but Vertonghen has been working very hard since he got injured to be back as soon as possible,” said Pochettino.
“As always, if we decide he is available for Sunday it’s because he is in a good condition, he’s 100 per cent. It’s a reality that the injured players work more than the fit players.”
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Second-placed Spurs trail leaders Leicester City by seven points going into this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, and Pochettino is hoping to stay in the title race until the final day, while he is also keen to secure a Champions League spot as soon as possible.
“Our challenge is to try to compete until the end of the season, to fight for the title until the last game,” he said. “For us, it would be great to go to Newcastle with the possibility of winning the league.
“We trained very hard this week and I think we are ready to compete. It’s a battle for the title but I think to be in the top four is important too.
“There are two big objectives for us to try to achieve in the next six games – first of all we need to think that we can win the title and second, if it’s not possible because Leicester are strong and still win their games, then it’s important for the club to be in the top four too.”
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