Tottenham will have to chop up their winning formula ahead of their match against Crystal Palace in a blow to Nuno Espirito Santo’s plans. Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso are unavailable through trouble with their Argentina duties and will not return until a day before the Chelsea clash, as well as Davinson Sanchez.
Nuno Espirito Santo has a selection headache this Saturday as he ponders over who to fill his defence, which has been ransacked by the international break.
Romero and Sanchez are in Croatia training as they are not allowed back in the country after leaving to play for Argentina and Colombia respectively, while Lo Celso is also away.
It puts Tottenham in a tricky position, and one that could disrupt their momentum.
Spurs have had a fantastic start to the season with three wins out of three – the only Premier League side to do so – putting them top of the pile.
But with Romero and Sanchez missing, the arrival of Emerson Royal could not have been timed better with the Brazilian in line for a debut at right-back.
Doing so would allow Nuno to put Japhet Tanganga in his more favoured role as a centre-back and the youngster has impressed with his early-season performances.
Matt Doherty and the Portuguese coach still have problems from their time together at Wolves but those could be put to one side, if Nuno does not believe Royal is ready.
Wales international Joe Rodon could also fill in at centre-back but, with Tanganga, their lack of experience could be a risk – especially going up against wily strikers Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha.
Another potential blow to Spurs is the loss of Heung-min Son, who is returning from international duty with a calf strain, with Lucas Moura likely to replace the forward.
Steven Bergwijn is also a slight doubt which means that there could be a full Premier League debut for summer signing Bryan Gil.
Oliver Skipp is determined to put a tight groin to one side to face Palace and could start with Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele unfancied by Nuno.
While Ryan Sessegnon will also miss the clash after being injured on international duty with the England Under-21s.
Likely Tottenham XI: Lloris; Royal, Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp, Alli; Moura, Kane, Gil.