By George Sessions, PA
Cristian Stellini’s first big decision since replacing Antonio Conte at Tottenham will be whether or not to instantly recall captain Hugo Lloris.
The former France goalkeeper, 36, has not played since the 1-0 victory over Manchester City on February 5 after he suffered a knee injury in the closing exchanges.
While Tottenham have exited the FA Cup and Champions League during the past two months, Lloris’ deputy Fraser Forster has been a rare positive and impressed throughout his time in goal.
Lloris’ returned to training last week and made an appearance in a behind closed doors friendly with Ipswich to prove his fitness, which leaves the new acting head coach with a big call to make ahead of Monday’s trip to Everton.
Stellini said: “Hugo Lloris has been training since last week so he is training also this week with the team.
“Obviously we didn’t have the team until Wednesday because they came back day by day from the national team so we train much more with the academy players.
“But Hugo is fit and well, so we have to take a decision with the keeper.”
Spurs have six players set to miss the clash on Merseyside with Ben Davies (hamstring), Richarlison (muscle) and Emerson Royal (knee) all injured during the past fortnight.
The trio join Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Yves Bissouma (ankle) and Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) on the treatment table, but Ivan Perisic is expected to shake off the knock he sustained on international duty with Croatia.
Ivan Perisic and Joe Rodon in action this evening
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— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 25, 2023
“The players who are unavailable are players like Emerson, who had surgery, Bissouma is not ready to play, Bentancur obviously not for the season able to play,” Stellini said.
“We have Richarlison with problem, he’s not training with team. Ben Davies and Sessegnon are pushing to recover, they are not ready but pushing to recover as soon as possible.
“We have some injuries so we have to be careful with the decisions and I mentioned before that we prepared some changes in the past. We were working on that and we want to continue working on that.
“Not only in one way but sometimes to change some details in the game, thinking of the opponent we have to face and we want to continue.
“We need all the players ready to play that game and at this particular moment we don’t have many wing-backs ready to play so we have to be aware of that and not make a wrong decision.”