Pochettino waits on Alli injury

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that Dele Alli suffered a hamstring injury during Tottenham's 2-1 victory at Fulham on Sunday.

The England international had to be substituted in the closing stages at Craven Cottage but Pochettino does not know how long he will be sidelined for.

Alli's absence is the latest blow to Pochettino who was without Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Mo Sissoko and Victor Wanyama for the London derby.

Fulham led at half-time through a Fernando Llorente own goal but Alli equalised for Spurs before Harry Winks grabbed a last-gasp winner for the visitors.

Pochettino said of Alli's injury: "We all see the reaction, he suffered an injury in his left hamstring.

"We need to assess him in the next few days. We hope it is not a big issue. But first of all, we need to assess.

"Some injuries appear in a period with a more busy schedule and another opportunity opens the door for players not consistently in the starting XI or on the bench. It is great opportunity for different players to show quality.

"Sometimes in football, it is not tactics or formation – you have to believe. It was an unbelievable finish. That's why it is so important to believe."

Spurs, 2/9 to finish in the top four this season take on Chelsea in the semi-final second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Thursday. Pochettino's team are 4/5 to qualify for the final and 3/1 to win the competition outright.

Harry to the rescue for Spurs

With Tottenham missing one Harry it was another who scored the late winner away to strugglers Fulham to keep them in the title race. 

Fulham led at half-time through a Fernando Llorente own goal, Dele Alli equalised for Spurs but they struggled in pursuit of a winner and looked to have missed out only for Harry Winks to score with almost the last kick of the game at Craven Cottage.

With Harry Kane missing Mauricio Pochettino had to make changes to his side and Llorente was given a rare start in attack while Danny Rose came in at left-back.

Fulham made a promising start and went close on 10 minutes, Aleksandar Mitrovic doing well to set up Ryan Babel, on his debut, who forced Hugo Lloris into a smart save

However they did not have long to wait to open the scoring and it came via an own goal. Having scored two themselves to hand Burnley victory last weekend, they were beneficiaries this time as Llorente diverted a Jean Michael Sari corner into his own net.

He nearly made amends at the other end shortly afterwards but failed to get on the end of an Erik Lamela cross.

Most of the first half action though came in the Spurs goalmouth and Fulham thought they had doubled their lead before half-time but Mitrovic was flagged offside when heading past Lloris.

Fulham's advantage didn't last long into the second half however, the visitors getting back on level terms on 51 minutes with Dele Alli scoring, heading past Sergio Rico after a good ball from Christian Eriksen.

Spurs were looking the more likely side to get the winner and they hit the woodwork with half an hour remaining, Rose getting into the Fulham area and hitting the bar.

It looked as if Spurs were destined to lose ground on the top two in the Premier League but deep into added time they broke Fulham hearts with a winner, Winks heading home after a cross from Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.

Spurs stay third in the Premier League table with a seven-point gap over Arsenal in fifth but Fulham's defeat leaves them second bottom of the table, seven points from safety.

Spurs are in action in midweek with the semi-final second leg of the EFL Cup, Pochettino's side having a 1-0 first leg victory over Chelsea. They are 17/4 to win on Thursday night at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are 4/7 while the draw is 16/5.

Spurs are 3/1 to win the trophy while Manchester City are 1/2.

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De Gea – This is the real United

David De Gea says we are now seeing the "real Manchester United" after beating Tottenham 1-0 on Sunday.

After taking over from Jose Mourinho in December, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has regularly been reminded that the trip to Wembley would be his first real test.

Sunday's success means the Norwegian has become the first United coach to win his first six games in charge and he had his goalkeeper's heroics to thank. 

The only goal came just before half time when Jesse Lingard intercepted Kieran Trippier's loose pass. The ball fell to Paul Pogba who produced a brilliant ball over the top to Marcus Rashford and the Englishman fired in from a tight angle.

Spurs did their best to hit back in the second half but Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Dele Alli were all guilty of firing efforts too close to De Gea.

The Spaniard was his team's best player on the day and deserved his third clean sheet of the season as the Red Devils moved level on points with fifth-place Arsenal.

United have played with far more freedom under Solskjaer and rather than take the credit for his showing on Sunday, the 28-year-old was keen to praise his colleagues, adding that they are finally starting show their true colours.

"We won the game against a top team, we controlled the first half but in the second half they had chances," De Gea told Sky Sports. "I was feeling very well with the first two saves, it was a great game.

"I don't even remember some of the saves so I can't pick a best. The manager brought some happiness, the players are playing well and the team is very strong now.

"This is the real Manchester United."

Next up for United is Saturday's visit of Brighton, a game they are 2/7 to win, with the draw 17/4 and the Seagulls available at 9/1 to take the points at Old Trafford.

United are 9/4 to finish in the top four.

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Eriksen needs ‘freedom’ to play

Mauricio Pochettino retains his faith in Christian Eriksen and insists he allows the Tottenham playmaker 'freedom' to play as he chooses.

Eriksen has yet to agree a new deal with Spurs, though his manager is still of the opinion that he may commit his long-term future to north London.

Eriksen has 18 months left on his Spurs contract and chairman Daniel Levy is typically keen to secure his signature on an extension. As yet Eriksen has not put pen to paper.

"We hope that Christian can commit to the club with a long-term contract – but in football business it is about timings and negotiations," said Pochettino.

"He is ready to wait. Maybe sign this week, maybe sign in six months.

"For me, it is not a point to discuss. He is very committed with us and he is playing so well. He is a great player and I am so happy with him."

Spurs are 11/10 to beat Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday. The in-form Red Devils are 13/5 to maintain their perfect record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while the draw is 27/10.

Spurs are looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings with Manchester United for the first time since 1960.

Eriksen, 9/1 to score first against United, will play without restraint, something Pochettino feels is vital to a player of his ilk.

"He is a special person and you need to give him some freedom on the pitch," he added.

"You cannot put him in a box to play, you need to give freedom and trust in him."

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Pochettino slams VAR despite win

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino feels the VAR system needs to be improved despite it aiding his side to a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Spurs have a 1-0 advantage going into the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, as VAR ruled out offside before Harry Kane was fouled in the box for the penalty, which the England skipper scored.

There was still some debate about the offside after the final whistle, with some cameras suggesting the Three Lions forward was slightly off.

Despite the victory at Wembley, Pochettino feels the VAR system still needs working on.

"I don't like the VAR," he said. "Today we get the benefit of it but after watching the World Cup and another league like La Liga, I see that nobody is happy from day one that they started to use it.

"To get the benefit is nice but I am unhappy to win the game like this.

"We all have to agree – the players, the coaching staff. I watch La Liga every week and nobody is happy, the big clubs and the small clubs. If you are playing to win the title or to stay up, nobody is happy.

"That is a good example for us. We have six months to improve the system and there is a lot of work to do."

Spurs are 5/2 to win the Carabao Cup, while Chelsea are 5/1 to lift the trophy.

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Pochettino slams VAR after Spurs win

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino feels the VAR system needs to be improved despite it aiding his side to a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Spurs have a 1-0 advantage going into the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, as VAR ruled out offside before Harry Kane was fouled in the box for the penalty, which the England skipper scored.

There was still some debate about the offside after the final whistle, with some cameras suggesting the Three Lions forward was slightly off.

Despite the victory at Wembley, Pochettino feels the VAR system still needs working on.

"I don't like the VAR," he said. "Today we get the benefit of it but after watching the World Cup and another league like La Liga, I see that nobody is happy from day one that they started to use it.

"To get the benefit is nice but I am unhappy to win the game like this.

"We all have to agree – the players, the coaching staff. I watch La Liga every week and nobody is happy, the big clubs and the small clubs. If you are playing to win the title or to stay up, nobody is happy.

"That is a good example for us. We have six months to improve the system and there is a lot of work to do."

Spurs are 5/2 to win the Carabao Cup, while Chelsea are 5/1 to lift the trophy.

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Poch rules out new arrivals

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is not planning to make any new signings this month despite his team's hectic schedule.

Spurs are challenging for the Premier League title, have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League as well as the fourth round of the FA Cup and are involved in the two-legged Carabao Cup semi-finals this month.

Lucas Moura will miss Tuesday's first-leg clash against Chelsea due to the knee injury he picked up in Friday's 7-0 FA Cup win at Tranmere and may also be forced to sit out Sunday's Premier League clash against Manchester United.

Eric Dier (appendicitis) and Victor Wanyama (knee) are also currently sidelined, while Son Heung-min is set to join the South Korea squad for the Asian Cup.

However, Pochettino is happy with the depth of his squad, saying: "I don't expect to add players. Of course, if we have the possibility to add the right player, we are going to try.

"The team is so strong in all the areas. I am happy and I know that it's very difficult for the club to add the quality to improve us, it's not an easy job."

Erik Lamela could feature against Chelsea on Tuesday after recovering from an illness.

Meanwhile, Pochettino has indicated that he would like to spend the rest of his managerial career at Spurs.

The Argentine has been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid but insists he is happy at Spurs and would like to emulate Arsene Wenger's longevity at north London rivals Arsenal.

"I hope, or I wish, to be here 20 years and decide to leave or to finish my career here," he added.

"I am so focused here. It would be fantastic. I am so happy to be here. I am so happy to work in that pressure. Why not?"

Spurs, 16/1 to win the Premier League title this season and 7/2 to win the Carabao Cup, are 17/2 to beat Chelsea 1-0 on Tuesday and 6/5 to qualify for the final.

Loftus-Cheek suffers setback

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek looks set to be sidelined until the start of February because of his troublesome back injury.

The 22-year-old England international had to be substituted during Chelsea's FA Cup third-round win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday because of the problem which he has struggled with throughout his career.

The injury forced Loftus-Cheek to miss the games against Watford and Crystal Palace during the festive period.

He admitted: "It's not good. I've been struggling with it for the last few weeks. I'm going to have to take some proper time out to make sure it heals properly. I'm gutted."

Maurizio Sarri's side play six more fixtures in January, including the two-legged League Cup semi-final against Tottenham.

Loftus-Cheek will miss Tuesday's first leg against Spurs, which Chelsea are 5/2 to win, as will Pedro (hamstring) and Willian (calf).

One of Sarri's assistants, the former Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, said: "We are very sorry for the kid (Loftus-Cheek) to be honest. His impact on the games he played so far has been very good.

"It's something that is affecting him and something we need to look at resolving. Obviously, it's been going on for a while and now he will probably have to stop for a bit to try to resolve it."

Chelsea, 7/2 to win the League Cup this season, can be backed at 3/1 to keep a clean sheet at Wembley on Tuesday.

Alderweireld extends Spurs stay

Tottenham have confirmed that Belgium international Toby Alderweireld has extended his contract with the club until June 2020.

The 29-year-old's contract was set to expire at the end of the current season but Spurs have triggered the one-year extension in his deal.

"The club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend Toby Alderweireld's contract until 2020," Tottenham said in a statement.

Alderweireld, who has made 135 appearances for Spurs in all competitions, had been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Mauricio Pochettino admits that the FA Cup is not at the top of his priorities.

Spurs visit Tranmere Rovers on Friday in a third-round tie before facing Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

"If my ambition in Tottenham is only to win the Carabao Cup or FA Cup, with all the respect for that, I think my ambition does not match the ambition of a club like Tottenham," said Pochettino.

"My ambition is to win the Champions League one day with Tottenham or the Premier League.

"But that doesn't mean that we are not focused on trying to win against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup or in the FA Cup. But you need a lot of coincidences to win sometimes."

Spurs, 8/1 to win the FA Cup this season, are 11/2 to beat Tranmere 2-0 on Friday.

Pochettino uncertain on Eriksen deal

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he cannot be certain that playmaker Christian Eriksen will ink a contract extension to stay at Tottenham.

The Denmark international has just 18 months remaining on his contract and has been touted for a move away from north London.

Spurs have offered Eriksen new terms but, with the likes of Barcelona said to be interested, no new deal has been agreed.

Eriksen has scored six times and assisted nine more goals this season but his manager cannot be sure what the future holds.

"No news is good news. Who knows? I am not a person who suffers too much in this type of situation, because football is dynamic," said the Spurs boss.

"Football is about interests that sometimes as a manager we cannot manage. It depends on many things. Different parties have interests.

"Of course Christian Eriksen is so important for us and you would like to have this kind of player with you. But it's a negotiation with different parties, with different interests."

Spurs are 25/1 to win the Champions League this season while they can be backed at 7/2 to hoist the Carabao Cup.

Spurs have not won a trophy in 11 years but, according to their manager, silverware isn't the only proof of progress.

"For many people it's so important for us to win. For me, of course it's important, like for the players and the club, to win a trophy," he added.

"But I'm not sure whether winning the Carabao Cup or FA Cup is going to change the character of the club."

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