Tuesday 23 January 2018

Spurs hoping Lloris back for title push

Tottenham's Hugo Lloris (PA)
Tottenham's Hugo Lloris (PA)

Tom Collomosse

Hugo Lloris faces a race against time to recover for the next stage of Tottenham's title challenge after he was ruled out for at least two matches with a shoulder injury.

The France goalkeeper sustained the damage in the closing minutes of Sunday's 2-1 Premier League victory at Manchester City as he pushed away a cross from Sergio Aguero.

Lloris, who is Spurs' captain, indicated immediately after the game that he was healthy but he did not travel to Italy for tonight's Europa League last-32 tie at Fiorentina. Head coach Mauricio Pochettino also said Lloris would miss Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Crystal Palace.

"It's a very small injury and we hope he will be ready to play again in the second leg against Fiorentina next Thursday," said Pochettino.

"There is always an impact - Hugo is our captain and a very important player. But we have Michel Vorm to replace him, who is a top goalkeeper, and we trust in him.

"We need to assess Hugo during the week to see if he is available next Thursday, but for the first leg against Fiorentina he is out, and he will miss the game against Palace, too."

Tonight's first leg in Florence is the first of three consecutive cup matches Spurs face before turning their attention again to Premier League duty, when Swansea visit White Hart Lane on February 28.

Vorm's inclusion in place of Lloris is unlikely to be the only change to the Tottenham starting XI as Pochettino shuffles his pack.

Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, the full-backs who started at the Etihad Stadium, should be replaced by Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies, while Tom Carroll, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela are also expected to start.

Spurs were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by Fiorentina at this stage of the Europa League a year ago, and lost the League Cup final to Chelsea three days later. Tottenham's push for a top-four spot also crumbled after that as they ran out of steam - but their head coach feels this team are better-equipped to challenge on three fronts. (© Independent News Service)

Fiorentina v Tottenham, Live, BT Sport Europe, 6.00pm

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