Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham team news: Predicted XI vs Crystal Palace as Ange Postecoglou hit by huge blow

Tottenham need to bounce back from the defeat to Wolves when they host Crystal Palace this afternoon.

Ever since taking over at Tottenham, Ange Postecoglou has had to deal with injuries on a regular basis. Now, the Australian manager faces yet another challenge with Richarlison’s potentially month-long absence. Due to a knee injury, the Brazilian striker will not play today (3pm) as Spurs host Crystal Palace in an attempt to rekindle their Champions League rivalry. They are sit sixth, five points behind Aston Villa, following their most recent defeat to Wolves.

The goalkeeper position is one that Postecoglou hasn’t yet had to worry about. As long as Guglielmo Vicario is healthy, available, and just as well given back-up stopper Fraser Forster will be sidelined until late April with a foot injury.

On defense, though, the hosts will once more be constrained by Ryan Sessegnon’s extended absence owing to a hamstring injury and Pedro Porro’s enforced absence. Even if Destiny Udogie, a third full-back, may face a late fitness test due to a knee issue, it is unlikely that he will be put at risk.

Postecoglou, who hasn’t played him much since signing him in January, is probably going to resist the urge to give Radu Dragușin the starting nod in center defense. That would inexorably imply that Cristian Romero would continue to play alongside Micky van de Ven, despite persistent worries about the Argentine’s discipline.

Due to a meniscus injury to his right knee, Winger Manor Solomon has missed five months of action. In his pre-match press conference on Friday, his manger admitted he was “still not anywhere near rejoining the group.” But it’s the absence of Richarlison that will hit hardest, with the ex-Everton man having struck 10 times in the Premier League this season.

It presents Postecoglou with a dilemma as to whether to push Son, regularly deployed behind Richarlison, into the lone forward role – or opt for a direct replacement. Brennan Johnson, Timo Werner, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will all be in contention to come into the XI.

Johnson appears most likely to be given the nod, having scored a late winner in the clash with Brighton the week before the Wolves loss. That would mean Son remaining in a deeper role, with the Welsh forward leading the line in place of Richarlison.

The South Korean was on the scoresheet when Spurs beat Palace 2-1 in earlier in the season, and an identical result would be welcomed by the north London faithful tomorrow. A defeat would present Villa with the opportunity to put clear daylight between the two sides when they play Luton later on tonight (5.30pm).

Tottenham predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Vicario, Royal, Romero, Van de Van, Davies, Sarr, Bissouma, Kulusevski, Maddison, Son Heung-Min, Johnson.

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