Date: 10th August 2018 at 2:59pm
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OPINION

Tottenham are expected to cobble together a team for their Premier League opener against Newcastle United that will be weakened by the absence of many unavailable and injured players.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is likely to omit at least five of the World Cup nine – those who went the distance at the World Cup – from his starting XI at St James’ Park.

Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele are almost certain to miss out after being made available for transfer ahead of deadline day and could still leave before the European window shuts on 31 August.

Of the other six – Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen – at least three of then are unlikely to start against Newcastle although they could all be in the matchday 18.

Striker Kane’s exertions at the World Cup, coupled with the fact his partner has just given birth to a baby daughter, means he could be on the bench, with Fernando Llorente handed a rare start.

Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min figured at the end of pre-season and are almost certain to be in the line-up.

With Erik Lamela out through injury, Dele Alli could be named in the team, especially as injuries across the squad have reduced the options for Pochettino.

Dier was mainly used as a substitute at the World Cup by England, so should slot into the Spurs team, with Moussa Sissoko probably alongside him due to the injuries to Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks.

At the back, Ben Davies and Serge Aurier are likely to get the nod for the full-back slots after featuring extensively in pre-season, and the biggest question for the manager is whether he can trust Davinson Sanchez and Vertonghen to play without much preparation.

Lloris is likely to start given the physical demands of playing in goal are not the same as for outfield players.

Team: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Dier; Son, Alli, Eriksen, Llorente.