Tottenham handed huge triple concern ahead of critical Marseille showdown in Champions League

Cristian Romero, Son Heung-min Tottenham Credit: Alamy
Cristian Romero, Son Heung-min Tottenham Credit: Alamy

Tottenham could be without three major stars for Tuesday night’s must-not-lose clash with Marseille in their final Champions League group-stage contest.

Antonio Conte’s men will progress to the last 16 if they avoid defeat at the Stade Velodrome, but it looks like they might have to play the game without Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison.

Spurs thought they had secured qualification with a last-gasp winner against Sporting Lisbon. However, a controversial offside decision against Harry Kane saw the goal chalked off by VAR and also led to a red card for Conte.

The Italian will not be in the dugout for the game in France. But the absence of three top stars will also be felt.

Romero, Kulusevski and Richarlison all missed training on Monday ahead of the clash.

And while Kulusevski and Richarlison were always doubtful for the contest, the potential absence of Romero will come as a massive blow.

The Tottenham back three always looks stronger with the Argentine in the side. However, he was left out of the weekend win at Bournemouth and may also be missing in France.

Sanchez likely to step up

If Romero is sidelined, Davinson Sanchez is the natural fit to replace him on the right of the back three.

However, the club’s former record signing was hauled off at Bournemouth on the hour mark. Sanchez and right wing-back Emerson Royal both struggled defensively on that side against the Cherries.

Indeed, one former Spurs star has urged Conte to never play the duo together again.

As for Kulusevski, the Swede has been out since the last international break. Richarlison, meanwhile, suffered a calf problem in the home win over his former club Everton in mid-October.

Conte will be hoping Tottenham show the same fighting spirit they showed in the win at The Vitality on Saturday.

Spurs’ last two games have seen woeful first-half displays followed by a stark contrast in the second half.

If that happens again on Tuesday night, there is a strong chance Conte’s men will have a mountain to climb against a decent Marseille side.

Tottenham beat the French side 2-0 in their opening group fixture at home. However, for large periods of that game they were second best before Richarlison grabbed his first goals for the club.

Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur are both set to return for the game after starting on the bench at Bournemouth.

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