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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Moura in line for Tottenham debut in north London derby

Reuters , Friday 9 Feb 2018
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Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (left) was booked following a foul on Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane AFP
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Lucas Moura could make his Tottenham Hotspur debut in Saturday's Premier League game against Arsenal but manager Mauricio Pochettino says he has tough decisions to make before selecting his team for the north London derby.

After sticking with the same starting line-up for the 2-0 victory over Manchester United and the 2-2 draw at Liverpool, Pochettino made 10 changes as Tottenham cruised into the FA Cup fifth round beating fourth-tier Newport County 2-0.

The Argentine is likely to ring in the changes again for the visit of sixth-placed Arsenal, with Brazilian midfielder Moura in line to make his debut after arriving in the January transfer window from French side Paris St Germain.

"I think he will be ready, maybe to be in contention for Saturday," Pochettino said. "He is doing well, training so hard and I think we need to assess him.

"After the last training session, I hope that he is still doing well and we can put him in contention."

Toby Alderweireld is available after the Belgian defender returned to the team from a hamstring injury he picked up in November and played 90 minutes against Newport.

Defender Danny Rose and midfielder Harry Winks are also fit, boosting the manager's options. "It's positive but it'll be tough because we can't put out more than 11 and seven on the bench," Pochettino added.

"I am sure that many players will not be happy that they will be out but that is football, they understand the rules and always we are going to take the best decision for the team."

Tottenham are fifth in the table with 49 points.

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