Tottenham are hoping that Dele Alli is not the latest attacking player they will lose to injury or being unavailable.
The England international came off during Sunday’s last-gasp 2-1 win at Fulham with a hamstring injury and boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted that it did “not look great”.
Alli had earlier scored an equaliser at Craven Cottage after Fernando Llorente’s own goal put Fulham in front and he watched from the bench as Harry Winks headed a winner deep into time added on.
Another injury to an attacking player is the last thing Pochettino needs, given the absence of the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who is on international duty, over the next few weeks.
It looks highly unlikely that England international Alli, who has already been out twice this season with hamstring problems, will be fit to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
Pochettino said: “You know very well the action. We need to assess him in the next few days.
“The hamstring is a muscle we need to be careful with, but it doesn’t look great. On the pitch, we all agree that when you see him put his hands on his hamstring you feel…it’s not great.”
Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri was concerned by his side’s lack of experience after losing the game at the death.
The Cottagers sent a free-kick into the Spurs penalty area in the final stages of time added on, which the visitors cleared and then went up the other end and scored.
The Italian praised his side’s performance but was exasperated by that decision.
“Unbelievable,” he said. “Our first half was fantastic and we also had a penalty the referee didn’t see. There was a big penalty on (Aleksandar) Mitrovic.
“Second half we controlled the match very well in different ways. We gave a gift with the first goal and the second goal is unbelievable.
“We have a lot of free-kicks and I said to players, ‘Why do we have to put the ball in the box?’
“We lack experience. Calm, stay calm, keep possession, finish the match.
“We are alive, we continue to fight, the team showed fantastic performance. I can only say well done. But stay smart until the end. A lot of them the first time they play in the Premier League.”
Manchester City smashed through the 100-goal barrier this season in their 3-0 win at managerless Huddersfield – but boss Pep Guardiola wants more.
The champions cruised to their fourth straight Premier League win thanks to Danilo’s first-half deflected effort and quickfire goals from Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane early in the second period.
But, despite closing the gap on leaders Liverpool to four points and scoring their 102nd goal in all competitions this season, City were not at their best and Guardiola has called for improvement.
“We are happy we have won, but immediately we have to analyse what we have done and to win in the future we have to play good,” he said.
“During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.
“All the teams have that, but to arrive in the last stage of competitions our game will have to improve.”
Asked how he could expect his side to get better, Guardiola said: “Our pace, more passes in a row – we were not able to make a lot of passes. Always in football when you play good you have the ball as much as possible.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz has stressed that he and his team-mates trust in boss Maurizio Sarri’s philosophy and that “everybody is with” the Italian.
The Blues put in a disappointing performance as they were beaten 2-0 at Arsenal on Saturday.
The gap between Chelsea in fourth place in the Premier League and Arsenal, who rose to fifth, reduced to three points, and sixth-placed Manchester United are the same amount behind Sarri’s men.
In his post-match press conference, an angry Sarri was critical of his players’ mentality, accusing them of being “extremely difficult to motivate”.
Luiz said the manager “was not happy” after the match “but nobody was happy, so it was normal.”
And regarding the way Chelsea have been playing, he said: “It is our style, it is our philosophy.
“I think if you asked at the beginning of the season, ‘can Chelsea keep the ball?’ – you would have said no.
“And now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have (to) improve our last 25 metres.”
The Brazil international added, when asked if it was harder to trust the philosophy when Chelsea lost: “It is part of the process, when you try to do something and this is inside your mind, if you believe in it you can arrive there.
“Because of the results if you start to change and change, you don’t go anywhere.
“So this is our philosophy, I believe in it, I trust in it, so I just know we have to improve, like every team in the world.
“What Sarri (who took charge last summer) has done until now is unbelievable, amazing, because normally (for) a team to understand this philosophy needs one or two years, like Manchester City and Liverpool, who are playing very well with the ball now.
“What he has done has been amazing, so we have to try to improve the details now.”
When then asked if some players were less sure now, Luiz said: “I don’t think so, everybody is trusting his job and everybody is with him.”
Chelsea, who are being linked with Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, once again had Eden Hazard deployed as a ‘false nine’ on Saturday.
They have won only two of their last five games in all competitions and failed to score in three of those.
Saturday’s contest saw Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny score in the 14th and 39th minutes respectively.
Luiz said of the match at the Emirates Stadium: “The first 25 minutes we did not perform well, after that to control a team like Arsenal here with possession is never easy, especially in the second half we did that.
“But then after that possession and being more dangerous is two different things, so I think we had the possession but we still have to be more dangerous.”
Luiz said the creation and conversion of chances was an area in which Chelsea “have to improve”, and added: “When I say that I am not talking about the strikers, I am talking about the whole team.
“The offensive phase starts with (goalkeeper) Kepa (Arrizabalaga), and then with us the defenders, with everybody.”
Provided by Press Association Sport