Tottenham youngster Walker-Peters set to continue great week
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The 21-year-old signed a new five-year deal with Spurs on Monday and will now start away to Barcelona
Kyle Walker-Peters will make his first Champions League start in Spurs’ must-win Group B fixture at Barcelona tonight.
The 21-year-old is set to deputise for Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier, who have both suffered injuries over the past week.
Walker-Peters’ start will cap a fantastic couple of days for the right-back after a tough opening to this season.
Last weekend he made just his second appearance of the campaign as a late substitute in the 2-0 Premier League win at Leicester City.
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Days later, on Monday, the under-20 World Cup winner with England signed a five-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur.
He only signed a new deal in May, which tied him to the club until the summer of 2021, but this contract will see him remain with Spurs until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
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Now Walker-Peters is preparing to celebrate his improved terms by starting a game at the Camp Nou this evening in what will be just his third outing of the season.
The reason the England under-21 international will feature in such an important game is because Aurier suffered a groin injury at Leicester on Saturday, which prevented him from travelling to Barcelona.
Fellow right-back Trippier is also out with a groin problem and he is undergoing an “individual preventive and conditioning programme”.
There is more positive news when it comes to Erik Lamela, however, as the winger is back in training after a thigh injury.
He last featured for Spurs in the 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on November 28, which kept alive the club’s hopes of reaching the round of 16.
Tottenham will now aim to make sure that result is worthwhile by matching the Serie A side’s result at home to PSV tonight and if they do, they will qualify for the knock-out phase in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Spurs’ task is not made easier by the fact in addition to Trippier and Aurier, they are also without Davinson Sanchez (hamstring), Victor Wanyama (knee) and Mousa Dembele (ankle) due to injury.
Juan Foyth is also on the sidelines with a hamstring issue, but is not eligible to play in the group phase of this competition anyway because there was not enough space in Tottenham’s squad list to name him.
The absence of Sanchez and Foyth means Mauricio Pochettino will most likely select Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld at the heart of defence with Walker-Peters on the right and probably Danny Rose on the left over Ben Davies.
Further forward, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen will return after they were rested at Leicester and could feature alongside Lucas Moura and Dele Alli, with Heung-min Son the possible unlucky attacker to miss out on the starting XI.
In midfield, Pochettino will have to decide who fills the two central midfield spots out of Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko.
The equation for Tottenham is straightforward in some ways – win and they are in the round of 16, but the problem comes from the fact Barcelona are the opposition.