Pochettino may not risk Lo Celso against Sheffield United

Pochettino may not risk Lo Celso against Sheffield United

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that Giovani Lo Celso will not be in his side against Sheffield United.

Lo Celso made his first start for Spurs in Wednesday’s Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade and impressed, scoring first in a 4-0 victory.

But having only recently come back from a hip injury, Pochettino suggested that the short turnaround between games might count against Lo Celso.

“I need to assess tomorrow morning, it is a very short period to recover,” Pochettino said.

“Some players suffer some small issues. We are going to play three games in six days.

“I need to assess, I still have not decided the starting XI for tomorrow.”

Ryan Sessegnon could feature, having come off the bench in the last two games after the start to his Spurs career was blighted by a hamstring injury.

It is a very short period to recover.

His return to fitness has seen him called up to the England Under-21s squad for the games against Albania and Holland.

Pochettino, as was with the case with Lo Celso’s call-up to the Argentina squad, said he would prefer it if Sessegnon was staying at the club’s training ground.

He said: “It is the same answer as I gave you with Lo Celso last week. I accept when the national team asks for your player or calls them up.

“To be honest I prefer that the player should be here training with us and be available to play 90 minutes.

“It is better because you have two weeks to build his fitness, the concept and different things.

“But we know very well that players enjoy going to play for their national team, and for the Under-21s Ryan is a very important player.

“He has played in the last two games and been involved in the squad, playing some minutes.

“He suffered a big injury at Fulham and we are trying to provide him to be in his best form, but we are so happy that he is involved with the team.”

Spurs host Sheffield United on Saturday and not many people would have thought the newly-promoted Blades would sit above the Champions League finalists after more than a quarter of the season.

But Chris Wilder has led his boyhood club to the top six and Pochettino does not expect it to be an easy outing.

Pochettino does not expect an easy match against top-flight newcomers Sheffield United (Nick Potts/PA)
Pochettino does not expect an easy match against top-flight newcomers Sheffield United (Nick Potts/PA)

“It is going to be very difficult,” he said. “They work so hard.

“What impressed me the most is their belief and togetherness. They have the spirit like a rugby team that fight for each other.

“That is fantastic to see in a football team. That is why they have a good squad, good organisation, a great manager and coaching staff.

“They fight for each other, they have good players. That is the key of Sheffield United, they are doing so well, they have lots of points and are in a good position in the table.

“It is a fantastic job that Chris Wilder has done. Everyone has seen how he has working and the fantastic job he has done. The best thing I can say about him is how I described the team.”

Spurs will still be without injured trio Erik Lamela, Jan Vertonghen (both hamstring) and Hugo Lloris (elbow).

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