Eulogisers have been out in full force to heap praise on Tottenham Hotspur for their performances so far this season, but the progress they made is hanging by a thread following the rapid emergence of a full scale injury crisis.
Spurs managed to clinch three huge points away at Fulham on Sunday afternoon courtesy of a late strike from Harry Winks, but the joy of a dramatic winner was rapidly replaced by a damning realisation that they will be without Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and now Dele Alli after the midfield goal-machine picked up a hamstring injury with just a few minutes remaining at Craven Cottage.
Alli’s blow was compounded by an abject performance from Fernando Llorente at the spearhead of the attack, who scored an own goal and missed chances at the right end of the pitch.
And with a huge trip to Stamford Bridge awaiting the Lilywhites on Thursday evening, Pochettino will have to make a key decision about who to start at centre-forward in Kane’s absence.
Llorente’s showing on Sunday afternoon will be giving the Argentine reason to doubt his credentials to lead the line in a pivotal fixture in the content of his entire career in football management, and those doubts combined with Alli’s injury setback could result in a starting berth for Lucas Moura at the spearhead of the attack following his return from a knee injury, according to the London Evening Standard.
Lucas has played in a similar position before slightly behind Kane and enjoyed plenty of freedom within the role, lending supporters reason to dream of a heroic performance in the same bracket as the clinical display he put in at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
But, as a natural winger, it’s unlikely that Lucas will remain glued to the focal point of the attack and his tendency to drop deep to collect the ball and drift into wide areas is likely to cause Jorginho all kinds of problems in Chelsea’s anchor role.
The Italy international is in the team to keep things ticking over but without the ball he will be expected to break up play and nullify the threat offered by Tottenham’s attacking players.
However, Moura’s presence at the spearhead of the attack will add fluidity to Tottenham’s goal scoring endeavours and drag Jorginho out of position, with neat combination play and Moura’s interchangeability bound to create problems in knowing who to mark and when.
Jorginho’s frailties have been exposed on occasion this season and the mega money summer signing could be found wanting once again against Spurs if Pochettino does indeed decide to opt for the electric Brazilian at centre-forward.
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