Thursday, October 28, 2021

Nuno unsure if Lucas and Bergwijn will be fit for Chelsea after ´terrible´ injury luck

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Sep 2021

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Nuno Espirito Santo is unsure if Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn will be available for Tottenham’s Premier League clash with Chelsea after limping off in the 2-2 draw with Rennes on Thursday.

Tottenham hit back through Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg’s deft finish to claim a point in their opening Europa Conference League group match after Flavien Tait and Gaetan Laborde had struck to cancel out an early Loic Bade own goal.

The draw at Roazhon Park came at a cost for Nuno, however, as Bergwijn hobbled off in the first half with an ankle problem and Lucas was replaced before the hour after being caught by a strong challenge from Tait.

Spurs are already without Son Heung-min due to an injury sustained on international duty last week, while Eric Dier is also sidelined and a trio of South American players – Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso and Davinson Sanchez – are in quarantine.

With a huge home match against London rivals Chelsea up next in three days’ time, Nuno has been left to rue his side’s growing list of absentees. 

“It’s been terrible, I must be honest,” he said at his post-match news conference. “Let’s not hide behind anything.  After the Watford game, everything that has happened has not been very good for us. 

“But this is football. And we know it’s a moment we have to overcome. Today, we tried to show the players solutions, thinking about the game on Sunday. But it’s about overcoming obstacles. That will make us stronger for the future, for sure.”

Asked if either of the pair will be ready to take on Chelsea, Nuno said: “It’s too early to say. The physios are working with them.” 

Star striker Harry Kane played just under an hour of the Rennes match and had only one shot in total – albeit an improvement on the zero attempts and zero touches in the opposition box managed against Crystal Palace last Saturday.

Kane was one of four players to retain his place in the side from that 3-0 loss at Selhurst Park as Spurs battled to a share of the spoils in their Group G opener at a raucous Roazhon Park.

Tottenham took the lead when Bade turned Lucas’ cross into his own net, but Tait curled an impressive equaliser past Pierluigi Gollini and the Spurs keeper could only push Kamaldeen Sulemana’s shot into the path of Laborde for Rennes’ second.

Substitute Hojbjerg rescued a point, however, and Nuno was pleased with the overall display to take a point back to north London in what was his side’s toughest fixture on paper, with Vitesse and Slovenian side Mura also in the pool.

“We scored then we lost control,” Nuno said. “We played a good team who caused some problems. It is hard to judge the game, but I think we finished well against a hard team to play against. 

“But the attitude was good and with a lot of players playing out of position it is hard to properly judge.”

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