Spurs return to football this weekend, after COVID-19 saw a their recent fixtures postponed. Antonio Conte will inevitably have an array of dilemmas in his selection, with the health and fitness of his squad in question.
Liverpool struggled to overcome Newcastle in the week, with their own covid problems making waves at Anfield. Jürgen Klopp currently has Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones sat in isolation, and could conceivably see more players test positive in the next day or so.
In attempting to preview a game in such circumstances, both managers will surely have to look at each game in isolation. The reality is that the Premier League could well be forced into some form of break (after this weekend), and thus rotation with foresight may be discarded.
Tottenham have enjoyed a renewed spell of good structure, with the methods of a world class coach evident in his opening games. The 3-4-3 system will be maintained, with the names a subject of debate. Availability isn’t entirely clear, and the hope is that any players that have incurred the fate of this pandemic, will not fall to the wrath of long covid.
Joe Gomez will potentially make a long awaited League start, with his long term injury still being managed. The midfield will probably see the brilliant Naby Keita start, after his impressive cameo against Newcastle. Up top could see Roberto Firmino start, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane vying with Diogo Jota for the other two spots.
With so many games already postponed this weekend, it’s a horrible period for all walks of life. In football we have ninety minutes by which to avert our distracted attentions, and celebration of the beautiful game should be just that.
However the teams unfold, the hope is that the players, coaches, staff and supporters remain safe, and can enjoy what should be a brilliant game. Christmas Day is fast approaching us all, and these young entertainers will want to enjoy this festive period like any other.
Players to watch & appreciate – All of them, including those unable to participate.
No more positive cases for either side.