Not this time again: Ange Postecoglou said, as he faces another big problem that can’t be solved before the Everton clash, and it’s important match for them to win to be in top four race.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou might be forced to name a makeshift midfield for the visit of Everton on Saturday (23 December).

It is not very often a team has their first, third, fourth and fifth-choice midfielders all unavailable for selection at once, but it looks as if that might be the case for Postecoglou ahead of a tricky showdown with high-flying Everton this weekend.

James Maddison is arguably the first name on the team sheet in north London but is currently unavailable for selection due to an injury that is set to keep him out until January at the earliest.



Meanwhile, Yves Bissouma is serving a four-match suspension after being sent off in the 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Friday (15 December), while Rodrigo Bentancur is also sidelined with a long-term injury.

That leaves just Pape Matar Sarr, Giovani Lo Celso, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp, who would more or less be selected by Postecoglou in that order. However, the Evening Standard has now reported online (18 December) that Lo Celso remains “a doubt” for the visit of Everton after missing out on the trip to The City Ground last week.

This means the Australian might be forced to start his sixth and seventh-choice midfielders in Hojbjerg and Skipp against an in-form Everton side who have won their last four Premier League matches without conceding.

While this makes for particularly concerning reading for Tottenham supporters, Lo Celso himself will be just as frustrated by his latest injury setback after his impressive form in recent weeks.

With Maddison’s injury offering him a run in the side, the Argentina international grabbed that opportunity with both hands, scoring in back-to-back games against Aston Villa and Manchester City. He was particularly impressive during the 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium, completing 100 per cent of his passes, winning three ground duels and making one interception in addition to his goal


In the 2-1 home defeat against West Ham United (7 December) which followed, it was hard to place much of the blame for the loss on the 27-year-old, who completed 90 per cent of his passes with three of those being key, won five ground duels and four fouls for his side, while also hitting the woodwork.

Nonetheless, he was dropped a few days later for the 4-1 home win against Newcastle United (10 December), but still managed to impress, this time from the bench, completing 92 per cent of his passes, one successful dribble and making two tackles throughout his 17 minutes on the pitch.

Overall, the former Real Betis midfielder is perhaps one of Spurs’ most influential creative players when Maddison is unavailable for selection, and his absence will therefore be yet another blow for Postecoglou who can’t seem to catch a break at the moment.






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