Tottenham expect to have influential defender Jan Vertonghen back from a gruesome head injury when they travel to Ajax in search of a win that would pit them against Liverpool in the Champions League final in Madrid.
Belgium regular Vertonghen was at the centre of controversy following the first leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, when he returned to the field after appearing to suffer severe concussion in a first-half collision.
Vertonghen eventually had to be replaced but questions have been raised about the decision by Spurs’ medical staff to allow him to attempt to play on.
The versatile centre-back could play in a face mask if he returns against the club he spent six years with before joining Spurs in 2012.
Vertonghen could replace centre-back Davinson Sanchez, who sustained a thigh injury during the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.
Argentina winger Erik Lamela and Ivory Coast full-back Serge Aurier are both available after hamstring injuries, and Son Heung-min returns following the suspension that kept the prolific South Korea striker out of the first leg.
“It’s true that Jan Vertonghen and Lamela are back,” confirmed Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. “We will see if they are available to be in the starting 11 or on the bench.”
England striker Harry Kane is still receiving treatment for an ankle injury, but there is better news for Harry Winks. The young midfielder has started on-field rehabilitation following groin surgery.
“Whatever happens, I am going to feel proud,” insisted Pochettino, calling the Champions League semi-final decider and the Premier League finale against Everton “two finals”.
“It’s in our hands to be in a good position at the end of the season. No-one believed we’d be in this position in the last week of the competition.
“We are in a position where it depends on us to be in the Champions League final or not and then it depends on us to finish in the top four.”
Kieran Trippier said Spurs have nothing to lose in Amsterdam. “We’ve the belief in the squad and we’ll try to score as many goals as we can,” added the full-back, echoing the approach Liverpool took to their remarkable comeback win against Barcelona.
We have to go out there with no fear. We know it’s a difficult place to go
Kieran Trippier, Tottenham defender
“It’s only 1-0 and okay, they’ve got their away goal, but if you look at the performance, desire and determination we showed against City at their place in the last round, we scored three goals and anything can happen.
“We have to go out there with no fear. We know it’s a difficult place to go.
“I’ve played at their stadium before so we know what it’s going to be like but we believe in ourselves and believe that we can go there and score goals.”
Vincent Janssen, who will be on familiar territory at Ajax’s home from his time with the Dutch national team, is also unavailable for Spurs.
The out-of-favour striker made a rare appearance in the Premier League win over Brighton but is ineligible to play in the Champions League.
Source: Read Full Article