Spurs trio facing race for fitness ahead of Arsenal showdown

10:13 15 November 2012

Aaron Lennon

Aaron Lennon

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker and Jermain Defoe are facing a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s north London derby at the Emirates.

The England trio were all unavailable for the Three Lions’ friendly in Sweden last night after suffering hamstring problems at Manchester City at the weekend.

“They haven’t trained with the team yet,” said Andre Villas-Boas. “They trained separately on Wednesday in a recovery session away from the team.

“We have to see how they return, see if there is any disturbance. Lennon had a scan on Wednesday and it’s fine on his hamstring. We have to wait and see. They have had quite enough time to rest and recover. Today is an important day.”

Mousa Dembele has missed Spurs’ last seven games in all competitions, and he will definitely miss the clash against Arsenal.

“He will not be back for this game, “said Villas-Boas. “There is a 50 per cent chance he will be ready to play Lazio next Thursday. At the moment surgery is out of the question – hopefully.”

Villas-Boas is also awaiting the return of Tottenham’s internationals following the midweek friendlies.

“I can’t do anything regarding what they do in internationals,” said Villas-Boas. “You just have to cope with it.

“Sandro had a big trip to the US and didn’t play, Jan Vertonghen played 90 minutes and Steven played 75. There’s nothing you can do.

“You just have to understand that that the calendar is very tight and you have to respect that, and see by speaking to the players how they feel towards the game.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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