Algerian World Cup player Nabil Bentaleb returns to the Tottenham squad for their crucial Europa League Group C tie with Partizan Belgrade at White Hart Lane on Thursday.
The midfielder has been absent for six weeks with an ankle injury sustained after the European match with Besiktas on October 2.
Back in the squad
“It’s good news for us, good news for Nabil,” said Mauricio Pochettino after training on Wednesday. “He’s an important player for us and great he’s back in the squad.”
With only Ryan Mason a certainty in the Tottenham midfield, Bentaleb will glad to have returned in time to stake his claim for a starting XI spot. The tie with Partizan will probably ocme too soon for the Lille-born playmaker to play from the start but he will be on the bench.
A win for the home side will secure qualification for the knockout stages, and with the final fixture being a trip to Turkey to face Slaven Billic's Besiktas Pochettino will want to seal progression as soon as he can.
A number of players missed the 2-1 win over Hull on Sunday, amongst them Emmanuel Adebayor, Etienne Capoue, captain Younes Kaboul, and Danny Rose. Their participation in the midweek game is still unknown.
“We need to analyse each case, maybe some players will be available for the weekend,” added Mauricio.
Kyle Naughton is available as he is serving a domestic ban only, but Federico Fazio will miss out. Who else Pochettino decides to rest or leave out is hard to tell, and Spurs fans would welcome some consistency in the Argentine's selections.
Predicted starting XI
Lloris, Naughton, Davies, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Dembele, Paulinho, Lennon, Lamela, Eriksen Kane