How Tottenham could line up vs Wolves despite key injuries and suspensions

  • Tottenham are in the midst of an injury crisis with a growing list of absentees
  • Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie are also suspended after red cards against Chelsea
  • Ange Postecoglou may have to field an experimental lineup against Wolves this Saturday

Ange Postecoglou has some selection headaches ahead of the Wolves trip
Ange Postecoglou has some selection headaches ahead of the Wolves trip / Alex Pantling/GettyImages
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It was all going so swimmingly for Tottenham Hotspur, wasn't it?

Top of the Premier League table, playing attack-minded and inventive football, summer signings settling quickly in north London. Ange Postecoglou had allowed Spurs fans to dare to dream.

However, after last Monday's chaotic 4-1 defeat to rivals Chelsea, things look a little less rosy. Not only did Tottenham fall from the summit of the league table, the Lilywhites lost both James Maddison and Micky van de Ven to injury and saw Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie sent off.

A growing list of injuries and suspensions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is beginning to wreak havoc on Postecoglou's squad, with the sternest test of the Australian's credentials to come in the next few weeks.

With a big game against Wolverhampton Wanderers coming in the Premier League this weekend, how might Postecoglou line his injury-hit side up?


Goalkeepers & defenders

Micky van de Ven
Micky van de Ven could be sidelined for some time with injury / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The only positive news from Tottenham's 4-1 defeat to Chelsea was the spectacular performance of Guglielmo Vicario. The Italian, who has been superb since arriving from Empoli, put in a standout showing on Monday night and found himself incredibly unfortunate to end the evening having conceded four times.

The defensive line in front of Vicario will look incredibly different at Molineux this weekend. Pedro Porro will continue at right-back, but it will be an entirely new-look central defensive partnership after Van de Ven's hamstring injury and Romero's red card. The Dutch defender could be out for a number of weeks, while his World Cup winning partner will be suspended for three matches.

As a result, the much-maligned Eric Dier will have to step into the backline. The 29-year-old came on and even scored a narrowly offside goal against Chelsea on Monday, but he will be hopeful that Ben Davies, who has been missing through injury himself, will return in time for the trip to the Midlands on Saturday lunchtime.

If push comes to shove and Davies isn't ready to return, Postecoglou could call on young Ashley Phillips to make a Premier League debut, or perhaps even push Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg back into the heart of defence.

With Udogie also suspended - albeit just for the trip to Wolves - Emerson Royal will likely have to take residence at left-back for Spurs. Ivan Perisic and Ryan Sessegnon are also still missing, meaning the Brazilian defender will have to swap flanks this weekend.


Midfielders

James Maddison, Ange Postecoglou
James Maddison could be missing for Postecoglou / Robin Jones/GettyImages

While Maddison, who hobbled off before half-time with an ankle injury against Chelsea, could return against Wolves, Postecoglou will have to call on others if the English midfielder is missing.

Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr will undoubtedly start in the two deeper central positions for Tottenham, but who acts as the third man in the midfield is up to the Spurs boss.

Postecoglou could chuck Rodrigo Bentancur into the starting lineup against Wolves, the Uruguayan capable of providing some of the attacking threat that Spurs would be missing without Maddison.

However, Bentancur has been eased back into the team after a long injury layoff, playing cameo roles against Crystal Palace and Chelsea, with Postecoglou perhaps unwilling to play the 26-year-old from the start.

Other options for Postecoglou include Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Giovani Lo Celso, although only the latter would be comfortable operating in advanced central positions.


Forwards

Heung-Min Son
Heung-min Son will lead the line again for Tottenham / Chloe Knott - Danehouse/GettyImages

Tottenham's forward line more or less picks itself for the weekend trip to Molineux. Unless Postecoglou decides to put Bryan Gil in the starting lineup, injuries to Manor Solomon and Richarlison mean the Australian's options are limited.

Son Heung-min will continue to lead the line for the Lilywhites, aiming to add his eight Premier League goals this season. He will almost certainly be joined by teammate Dejan Kulusevski on the right flank, fresh from his deflected strike against Chelsea on Monday.

On the left wing, Brennan Johnson is likely to start as he did against Chelsea. The Welshman has featured regularly in recent weeks under Postecoglou and may be set for a run in the team given Tottenham's injury woes.


Possible Tottenham starting lineup vs Wolves

Position

Player

GK

Guglielmo Vicario

RB

Pedro Porro

CB

Eric Dier

CB

Ben Davies

LB

Emerson Royal

CM

Rodrigo Bentancur

CM

Yves Bissouma

CM

Pape Matar Sarr

RW

Dejan Kulusevski

ST

Heung-min Son

LW

Brennan Johnson


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