Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that he will rotate his Tottenham Hotspur squad heavily as he faces up to the prospect of two games in 48 hours this week.
Spurs host Manchester City in the Premier League at Wembley on Monday night and then make the short trip across London to take on West Ham United in the League Cup just two days later.
That, added to the disappointing 2-2 draw with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday, means that the Lilywhites will have played three matches in the space of a week.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Pochettino lamented the lack of preparation time and admitted that he may be forced to make significant changes for the tie with the Hammers, especially given that opposite number Manuel Pellegrini’s men will have had a four-day break.
“When we played last year in the Christmas period, Boxing Day, when you play with 48 hours in between two games you play against teams that are in a similar condition to you,” he is quoted as saying by Football.London.
“But now it’s still difficult to be in the same condition as different teams.
“If you are going to assess how West Ham are going to arrive, they going to play Saturday and then Wednesday against us but we play Wednesday, Monday and then Wednesday and we are not going to arrive in a similar condition.
“That is why we are thinking it will be difficult to repeat with some players who will play on Monday.
“That is why we are thinking, overthinking which is not so good, but we need to put two teams that will be so competitive in both games.”
A lack of squad depth at Tottenham has been a major talking point over the last few months after they added no new players to their ranks over the summer transfer window.
With rivals such as City, Liverpool and Arsenal strengthening heavily, Spurs have an even tougher task on their hands this time around to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
It looks as if their excursions at Europe’s top table could be cut short this year after picking up a solitary point from their opening three Group B fixtures.
And Tottenham will have to wait until January 2019 at the earliest to move into their new stadium after the club announced, to much disappointment, that it will be fulfilling home fixtures at Wembley up until at least the December 29 clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Beat City on Monday and Pochettino can take the attention away from the issues surrounding the club, but lose and it will be framed as further evidence that his team are now being cut adrift from England’s elite.