Tottenham Hotspur will be without Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Eric Dier and Son Heung-min for the visit of Liverpool, leaving manager Mauricio Pochettino desperately short of options in midfield. The Spurs boss has been without his first-choice midfield pairing of Mason and Bentaleb since mid-September, when the Algeria international suffered an ankle injury in the build-up to the club's 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Mason was also an injury victim that afternoon after he clashed with Black Cats goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon in scoring his side's winner. The pair have been out of action since, and ahead of the visit of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Saturday (17 October), Dier's suspension means Pochettino is left with a genuine midfield crisis.
Dier has impressed in a holding midfield role in the absence of Bentaleb but will sit out Saturday's contest after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the 2-2 with Swansea City.
Summer signing Son, who has enjoyed an impressive start to life at White Hart Lane, has also been ruled out. The South Korea international missed games against Monaco and Swansea prior to the international break with a foot injury, with his manager initially predicting he will be out for a 'few weeks'.
Pochettino told a press conference on Thursday: "Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason and Son Heung-min are still out but this is the same from a few weeks ago and this is the news. Son's injury is in his foot but it's OK. We are happy with him and maybe in one or two weeks he will be back. He's near to coming back and training with the group. Mason and Nabil are close; closer than Son. Maybe they will be ready for the next game or Bournemouth."
Alex Pritchard is also an absentee for Saturday's game. The England Under-21 international is facing three months on the sidelines after undergoing ankle surgery in October. The 22-year-old initially suffered the problem while on international duty with England at summer's Under-21 European Championships.
Despite speculation about a move to Napoli in January, Mousa Dembele is likely to come into contention for Saturday's game, while Dele Alli could drop into a deeper midfield role.