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Tottenham light on midfield options ahead of Gunners clash

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 March 2019

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks (left) has words with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Winks (left) has words with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium (pic: Nick Potts/PA Images).

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Harry Winks and Jan Vertonghen could join Dele Alli and Eric Dier on the sidelines

Spurs will assess Harry Winks and Jan Vertonghen ahead of Saturday’s derby game with Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.

The latter missed the 2-0 loss at Chelsea on Wednesday with a hip injury and is now a major doubt to face the Gunners.

Winks, meanwhile, featured against the Blues, but has also picked up a hip injury and could miss the 12.30pm kick-off.

If the duo were unavailable, it would be a big blow to Mauricio Pochettino given the pair know exactly what this fixture means to the fans.

Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are likely to continue in defence should Vertonghen again be absent, but midfield looks a different issue altogether.

Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen (pic: Bradley Collyer/PA Images).Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen (pic: Bradley Collyer/PA Images).

Moussa Sissoko and Winks have played in the middle for most of the campaign, but if the academy graduate is missing, it will force Pochettino into a rethink.

He could decide to drop Christian Eriksen into a deeper position, though it may leave Spurs vulnerable from a defensive point of view.

Alternatively Victor Wanyama could be handed a start, but he has looked a shadow of his former self in recent seasons and been plagued by injuries.

If Pochettino doesn’t think Wanyama can handle the rigours of this clash, he may give Oliver Skipp just his fifth start for the first-team.

The 18-year-old has played 10 times for Tottenham, but being included from the off in a fixture of this magnitude would be his toughest test to date.

Aside from Winks and Vertonghen, the Lilywhites will continue to be without Dele Alli (hamstring) and Eric Dier (illness), yet the twosome are closing in on a return.

Pochettino is likely to rotate his full-backs again on Saturday with Kieran Trippier set to drop to the bench alongside Ben Davies while Serge Aurier and Danny Rose should come in to take on Unai Emery’s Arsenal.

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