/Soccer: Moura return offers timely boost for Tottenham

Soccer: Moura return offers timely boost for Tottenham

LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur finally had some good news on the injury front on the eve of their League Cup semi-final second leg at Chelsea with Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama all returning to training after injuries.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Bournemouth – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – December 26, 2018 Tottenham’s Lucas Moura celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs/File Photo

It is a timely boost for manager Mauricio Pochettino who has lost his three main goalscorers — Harry Kane and Dele Alli to injury and South Korean Son Heung-min to the Asian Cup — as the season reaches a critical stage.

Leading scorer Kane’s penalty gave Tottenham a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the first leg but he suffered an ankle injury a few days later against Manchester United in the Premier League and is likely to be out until March.

Alli injured his hamstring in the 2-1 league win at Fulham and is also out until March.

Kane, Alli and Son have scored 27 of Tottenham’s 48 Premier League goals this season.

The return of Brazilian forward Moura from a knee injury will at least give Pochettino some attacking options at Stamford Bridge.

“Sissoko and Lucas are back in contention for tomorrow and Wanyama hopefully back for the weekend,” Pochettino told a news conference on Wednesday.

Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who scored an own goal at Fulham, is likely to get another chance at Chelsea, but Dutch forward Vincent Janssen remains out of the picture.

“18 months ago we tried to find a different place for him because it didn’t work,” Pochettino said. “Sometimes it happens. The relationship between the player and club doesn’t work.

“Our relationship is very good. It’s not personal, it’s professional.”

Despite still fighting on four fronts and suffering a succession of injury blows, Pochettino sounded pessimistic about the chances of strengthening his squad before the January transfer window closes.

“It’s so clear. I am so open to looking to improve,” the Argentine, who is seeking a first trophy as Spurs manager, said.

“I was open in the summer and I am open now, but the reality is the difficulty in bringing in someone who can help or improve us. We’ll see what happens.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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