Tottenham Hotspur start their 2017-18 Premier League season on Sunday with a trip to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park, with Mauricio Pochettino facing some selection dilemmas for the clash.
The Spurs boss rotated between a back four and a three-man defence last season dependant on who was available to him, and this will again be a major consideration ahead of the game at St James’ Park.
Tottenham’s sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City and Kieran Trippier’s ankle injury against Juventus last weekend mean that the away side are desperately short of options in the full-back role.
While young starlet Kyle Walker-Peters is adjudged as a rising star from the Spurs academy and a player with a bright future, it remains to be seen whether Pochettino will drop the youngster into the first-team mix on Tyneside.
It appears more likely that Tottenham will field a three-man defence of Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, allowing for wing-backs.
As such, former Newcastle United midfielder Mosusa Sissoko could well be the man to fill the problem position, with Pochettino selecting the France international at right wing-back on occasion last season.
Victor Wanyama has been named in the Tottenham squad to travel but the Kenyan enforcer has only recently returned from a knee injury picked up in pre-season — meaning that the African’s participation looks unlikely.
With Dier potentially operating at the back, this would allow Harry Winks to start the game alongside Mousa Dembele in the boiler room.
Further forward, Tottenham’s devastating front three of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen all look set to play, but Son Heung-min should miss out.
Like Wanyama, the South Korea international is coming back from injury after breaking his arm on international duty this summer, with the former Bayer Leverkusen man seemingly set to watch on from the sidelines.
Tottenham will look to start their campaign by recording three points, with this potential starting XI comprising imposing opposition for newly promoted Newcastle.
Predicted Tottenham Starting XI vs Newcastle (3-4-2-1): Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Sissoko, Dembele, Winks, Davies; Eriksen, Alli; Kane