Tottenham Hotspur's hopes of playing in Europe next season have been dealt a major blow following injuries to Tom Huddlestone and Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Both players missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea and are doubtful for this weekend's home fixture against Blackpool.
The pair also remain highly unlikely to feature in next Tuesday's game in hand – an away trip to Manchester City, billed as a potential decider on who will finish fourth in the Barclays Premier League and secure Champions League qualification.
Having returned to action just over a month ago, from an ankle injury sustained in November, Huddlestone has endured a frustrating season at White Hart Lane.
Following successful surgery and rehabilitation, the England international midfielder featured in four successive games but was ruled out of the Stamford Bridge clash after suffering a setback in training.
Huddlestone felt his problematic ankle and has been told to rest for five days. He is expected to return to light jogging over the weekend, but Tuesday's trip to Eastlands will come too soon.
Assou-Ekotto pulled up with a hamstring strain early in Tottenham's 2-2 home draw with West Brom nearly two weeks ago.
Scans revealed a small tear which ruled him out of last weekend's clash, and like Huddlestone he too remains doubtful for both games with Blackpool and Manchester City.
Spurs will leapfrog Liverpool into fifth place providing they do not lose on Saturday, as Kenny Dalglish's rejuvenated Reds do not play until Monday when they travel to Fulham.
But all eyes will be firmly on Tuesday's clash with City, as Spurs fans look for a repeat of last season's fixture which saw Tottenham claim a 1-0 victory to clinch fourth spot.
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