Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pochettino: Lucas Moura fit for Chelsea clash

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Jan 2019

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Lucas Moura will be fit enough to be in Tottenham’s squad for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Chelsea, says Mauricio Pochettino.

With Harry Kane sidelined by an ankle injury and Son Heung-min at the Asian Cup, Fernando Llorente was picked up front for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Fulham.

But the forward scored a first-half own goal and Spurs needed strikes from Dele Alli and Harry Winks, who headed a 93rd-minute winner, to turn the game around at Craven Cottage.

Alli limped off ahead of Winks’ late goal and Pochettino stated the England midfielder’s hamstring injury “doesn’t look great” ahead of Thursday’s clash with Chelsea, Spurs holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

But Pochettino had more welcome news on Lucas.

“We are going to be there [against Chelsea] trying to win the game. It’s going to be tough because Chelsea are a very good team,” he told reporters.

“I hope that Lucas Moura is going to be good. He was training today at the training ground, but we didn’t want to take a risk with him, so we’ll wait until he’s 100 per cent.

“Maybe for the bench, maybe he will start the game.”

Llorente missed numerous chances to make amends for his own goal, but the striker could not break a Premier League drought lasting over a year.

Pochettino, though, praised the performance of Llorente, who looked likely to leave during the January transfer window prior to Kane’s injury, having told the media he was open to re-joining Athletic Bilbao.

“I am happy, very happy,” Pochettino said of Llorente’s display against Fulham.

“He helped the team with his qualities, he had a few chances to score and might have been a bit unlucky. He’s a little bit tired after 90 minutes. He was good, I was so happy with his performance, he helped the team in 93 minutes.

“He has a few actions to score, that is the most important thing. In games the moment will arrive for him to score. It was tough for him to compete, one year and a half without a game [starting in the Premier League].

“But he deserves the opportunity, he is professional and a good player.”

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