Tottenham Hotspur fans will already be licking their lips in anticipation of the Champions League semi-final against Ajax on Tuesday, but they must first negotiate a tough London derby.
Spurs welcome West Ham to the new stadium tomorrow, and a win would go a long way to securing a top-four spot and Champions League football next season.
However, fatigue has hit the Tottenham squad hard in recent weeks, with a number of key players falling to injuries.
Harry Kane sustained an ankle injury against Man City in the quarter-final, along with Moussa Sissoko picking up a hamstring problem in the return leg.
Harry Winks has also been hampered with a groin injury, and Erik Lamela and Serge Aurier have been out for some time with issues of their own (Physio Room).
Pochettino will be hoping for three points at the weekend, but he will also be praying to get through the match without picking up any further injury problems.
Poch had this to say at his press conference earlier this afternoon (Football London): “Yes I think it’s a little bit unlucky we can’t recover players for tomorrow’s game. Then we need to still assess some players this afternoon, we’ll see if some players can be available or not. We come from a very busy period and of course, there’s a lot of fatigue in the team. All our decisions will be focused on trying to win the game tomorrow.
“It’s the most important game, we cannot think about Tuesday, all the decisions we are going to take for tomorrow’s game is because we need to provide the team with energy, the capacity to fight from the first moment we need players, not 100, but 200 per cent focused on tomorrow because that is the most important game. Without tomorrow there’s not Tuesday. That’s why it’s important after a very busy period to assess the players. We are not worried but it’s important to pay attention, it is so important to provide the teams the best tools and fresh legs, fresh minds to win. The most important game is West Ham.”
On West Ham, he added: “I was watching all of the games and in the last two games they have competed really well. It was difficult at Chelsea to win the game and of course, they deserved much more and were much better against Manchester United. They have very good players and we are going to meet a manager I admire a lot, I think he is one of the greatest managers in the world, Manuel Pellegrini, we know it is going to be tough to beat them but we are going to play for big things, to achieve the top four is going to be fantastic for us at the end of the season and that is why I expect a very tough game?
“The key is to play with your heart, giving your best, it is so passionate, the derbies are so passionate, we know what the game means to the fans, we hope and we wish for a very good performance that provides us or puts us in a very good position to get the three points because for us it is massive to get the three points.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
Tottenham bought themselves some breathing room with the win against Brighton in mid-week, especially after Man United, Arsenal, and Chelsea all dropped a number of points. This gives Poch the opportunity to rest some of his best players in the West Ham game.
With Sissoko and Winks all doubts for the Ajax game (Football London), the last thing Tottenham need is further unnecessary injuries.
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