Fulham vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: A depleted Spurs squad begin a challenging period without Harry Kane against league strugglers
(Photo: Getty Images/Charlotte Wilson)

Fulham vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: A depleted Spurs squad begin a challenging period without Harry Kane against league strugglers

Can Fulham claw back some ground in their bid for survival or will Spurs bounce back after their Wembley defeat?

Brogan Clasper

Fulham host Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage on Sunday as Spurs look to bounce back after their defeat to Manchester United

The Lilywhites lost ground on the title race after their 1-0 defeat at home to United on Sunday and sights are now firmly on a top-four finish.

As for the Cottagers, Claudio Ranieri's side remains five points from safety following their 2-1 defeat away to Burnley. 

Spurs squad depleted

Spurs' main man Harry Kane picked up yet another ankle ligament injury - his fourth in four consecutive seasons. 

The injury is set to sideline the striker until March, although it is reported the 25-year-old is eyeing an earlier return. 

To add to their woes, Heung-min Son has also left the squad on international duty and will not return until February which has left Spurs with just one recognised striker in Fernando Llorente

However, the 33-year-old has failed to impress since making the switch to Spurs from Swansea having only scored four times this season. 

With the Spaniard expected to start against Fulham, Mauricio Pochettino may be forced into making a formation switch in order to accommodate Llorente into the squad. 

Pochettino could revert back to a back three with both Jan Vertognhen and Toby Alderweireld fit, Davinson Sanchez is likely to fit in alongside the experienced duo. 

Last time out

Fulham visited Wembley Stadium back in August 2018 where they suffered from two late goals 3-1 victory for Spurs.

Lucas Moura put Spurs ahead with a sensational first-half strike but Aleksandar Mitrovic levelled within the early stages of the second 45 minutes. 

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The game fizzled out but Kieran Trippier was able to replicate his World Cup heroics with a stunning free-kick to put Spurs ahead with just 15 minutes to go. 

A matter of minutes later, Harry Kane confirmed the points for Spurs in what appeared a routine win for Spurs through the scoreline but was far from it in reality. 

Team news 

Fulham's new signing Ryan Babel is available and could make his return to the Premier League after an eight-year absence. 

However, Alfie Mawson remains out due to a long-term injury. 

Spurs will be without Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura and Victor Wanyama who all miss out due to injury. 

Spurs also begin their stint without Son who misses out through international duty at the Asia Cup.

However, Eric Dier is likely to return to the squad after recovering from surgery to have his appendix removed. 

Important game says Pochettino 

Spurs suffered a 1-0 defeat last time out in the league and allowed Chelsea to move within a point of them in doing so. 

However, Pochettino believes his side can bounce back:

"Always we create in our mind that it's the most important game, that we have ahead," he said. 

The Lilywhites now sit nine points off league leaders Liverpool

"Of course, it's so important to keep winning and bounce back again after the defeat to United. It's so important to show ourselves that we can compete and we cannot be affected by different circumstances that happened in the team.

"That's important and, of course, we want all the players fit but these situations can happen and we need to be strong enough to show that sport is about collective effort and we have a very good opportunity to show that that is true," the 46-year-old added.