Spurs Squad Ready as League set to Restart
Project restart is into the final stages now with the Premier League all set to return on June 17th. Barring any late obstacles, teams will pick up from where they left off in the middle of March and for Spurs, that means a battle to make it back into the Champions League places.
Our own fixture list recommences with a home game against Manchester United and while the exact dates of our remaining games are subject to TV interference, there are some tough encounters in the weeks that lay ahead.
According to the stats, the average points earned by Tottenham’s upcoming opponents actually means that we have the third-easiest run in out of the entire division. Football isn’t played on paper, of course, so that may count for nothing and there are some tough games coming up.
It all starts with that home game against Manchester United who strengthened in the January transfer window with the signing of long-term Spurs target Bruno Fernandes. Also arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in the coming weeks are West Ham, Everton, Arsenal and Leicester City. That leaves us with away trips to Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.
It certainly doesn’t look easy but, with Spurs likely to be back to full strength when the first ball is kicked in anger, we can certainly be hopeful of a positive run in. As it stands, the league table puts us in eighth place, four points behind United in fifth and seven behind Chelsea who currently occupy the final Champions League slot.
Based on those numbers and looking ahead to what’s left, the target may have to be the Europa League – assuming that we want to be there. It’s a reasonable set of fixtures but seven points is starting to look like a chasm at this advanced stage of the campaign.
When the Premier League came to an abrupt halt in mid-March, Tottenham were in the midst of an injury crisis. Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Steven Bergwijn had all picked up long term issues and all three were faced with the prospect of missing the rest of the campaign.
With several weeks to rest and recover, all three are likely to return when Tottenham host Manchester United. Another man facing a lengthy lay-off was Moussa Sissoko who was in with a chance of coming back into contention in April. Barring any mishaps, all four men should return leaving Jose Mourinho with a full strength squad to pick from.
Speaking at the end of May, Jose confirmed that all four of our long term concerns were back in full training.
In relation to the big injuries that ended in surgeries, Moussa, Sonny and Harry, yes they are back,Mourinho told the club’s official website.
We are going to start training with the full group on Wednesday and yes, they are going to be involved in the group.
It’s a big bonus as Spurs return for the critical run in and while other clubs will also be welcoming back injured players, the lack of goals prior to the March break was clearly damaging our chances of making it back into the top four.
One Positive Test
All around the world, sport is tentatively making its way back onto the schedules and much can happen between now and the Premier League’s restart. On Wednesday, it was reported that Spurs had declared one positive Covid-19 result from their latest round of testing.
The wider good news in this respect is that this was the only positive test from the 1,197 that were taken. The name of the recipient won’t be revealed due to medical confidentiality and while most outlets are assuming this is a player, it could actually be any one of the club’s staff who undertook that test.
A 7-day period of self-isolation will now follow so, even if the positive test has been picked up by one of the playing staff, it’s unlikely to affect Jose’s first starting XI when the time comes.
What to Expect?
As we know, all of the games left in the 2019/20 season will be played behind closed doors. They’re referred to as ‘ghost games’ in some quarters and, as we have already seen in the German Bundesliga, there is something of a strange and eerie atmosphere inside the stadiums.
That factor could also negate the effect of home advantage and that could also have a bearing on our results during that run in to the end of the campaign. For most, it’s just a case of being relieved to see football back after its unscheduled interruption.