Mauricio Pochettino is facing an injury crisis ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's crunch north London derby clash against Arsenal on Sunday (6 November) after the manager admitted that defender Toby Alderweireld is a major doubt and Harry Kane is unlikely to be fit enough to play from the start.
The duo have been sidelined with injuries for over two weeks and were expected to return for the visit to the Emirates Stadium, but speaking after Tottenham's loss against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, the Argentine manager admitted that it was difficult for the defender to return, but is likely to include Kane, who returned to first-team training earlier in the week.
Spurs' loss to Leverkusen sees them go six games without a win, and Pochettino was incensed with his team for failing against the Bundesliga side, which now puts their chances of qualifying to the knockout phase at risk. Their form in the Premier League has also been poor as they have drawn the last three games, which has seen them drop three points behind the league leaders.
"The result doesn't change our idea. We said yesterday he might be available, but to play from the beginning is difficult," Pochettino said of Kane's availability for the Arsenal clash, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"[It's] difficult," the Argentine coach said when asked about Alderweireld's fitness for the Arsenal clash on Sunday.
Apart from Kane and Alderweireld, the Argentine manager could also be without Moussa Dembele after the Belgian midfielder limped out during their loss to Leverkusen with an ankle injury. This will be a big blow as it will leave Spurs short of options in midfield with Victor Wanyama the only available option in the defensive midfield role, as Eric Dier has moved to centre-back to cover for Alderweireld and Moussa Sissoko is serving a three-game retrospective ban for elbowing Bournemouth's Harry Arter.