Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris will miss Thursday night’s Europa League clash at Fiorentina after sustaining a shoulder injury in the Premier League win over Manchester City at the weekend.
The French goalkeeper will definitely miss the round of 32 first leg meeting in Florence as well as Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Crystal Palace.
And while Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino has backed under-study Michel Vorm to step up to the mark, he admits not having his skipper available will have an effect.
“It is not a big, big issue,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“It is a very small injury. It will always impact, Hugo is our captain and it is a very important period for us but how it is important, we know now we have a squad and we believe that Michel is a very good, top goalkeeper too, and we believe in him and trust in him.
“It is true it is a big impact but in one week we expect and hope he is available to start to play again.”
Lloris picked up the injury turning away a Sergio Aguero cross deep into the 2-1 win at City on Sunday, which left Tottenham second in the Premier League.
“The last action of the game against Manchester City, Hugo hurt his shoulder and he is out for tomorrow and for Sunday too,” Pochettino explained.
“We need to assess him during the week if he can be available for next Thursday but for sure, tomorrow and next Sunday he is out.”
With a Premier League title tilt in full swing, Tottenham could be forgiven for taking an eye off their Europa League campaign – much like when they were knocked out by Fiorentina at the same stage last year.
Then, they were just three days from a Capital One Cup final clash with Chelsea, but this time around Pochettino insists he will maintain his stance on wanting to win in Europe.
“For us it is important, too,” he said.
“I can understand, because our position in the table it is a very big opportunity to fight for the Premier League but, for me, when you’re in a big club like Tottenham you need to fight in every competition and every game.
“I don’t think too much into the future. The most important game is tomorrow and the Premier League can wait for a few weeks. When you manage Tottenham, you need to try and win every competition and every game.”
Tottenham lost 2-0 in the Stadio Artemio Franchi 12 months ago but Pochettino is expecting a different tie this season, with their hosts sitting third in Serie A.
“Last season was very different, some different players and we are in a different period now,” he said.
“Fiorentina are the same because they have a different coach and different players, too. It is a very different team to last season, a different game completely.
“My attitude was to try and win the game (last year) and tomorrow it is the same. It is a very important competition for us, we have a strong squad.”
The Argentinian also concurred with Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa, who said the impending game has the feel of a Champions League meeting.
“I agree with Paulo,” added Pochettino.
“The characteristics and the level we show in the Premier League and the level of Fiorentina in the Serie A, both teams have a lot of quality and good players.
“I agree with him, we need to work very hard to play again next season but in the Champions League against Fiorentina.”
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