Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated that some of the club’s World Cup stars may face Newcastle United this weekend but he is being cautious with their recovery.
Spurs had a host of players int he final stage of the tournament in Russia, with the North London outfit having more representatives in the semi-finals than any other club.
While this is great experience for the Tottenham stars, it means their summer break has been stifled due to the World Cup responsibilities.
Spurs start their new Premier League campaign against Newcastle this weekend and Pochettino will hope to start the new season with victory.
However, the Tottenham boss will need to be careful with his player selection, as many of the high-profile players have only recently returned to training.
Pochettino has hinted that some of the World Cup stars could feature at St James’ Park, while others will need more time to build up their fitness.
“It’s a massive challenge for us after we tried to provide the team a good rest,” he told the Tottenham official website.
“(For) the players that were involved in the World Cup, it was massive and so important to give a very good rest and recovery after a very tough season and World Cup and now it’s a big challenge for us to try to provide them with the best tools to be competitive as soon as possible.
“Always we need to assess them. We will see on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday then Thursday and Friday to take a decision for the team.
“If some players are ready, of course we are going to use them but we are not going to take some risks because sometimes for one game, you lose the players for one month or two months and that is (why it’s) so important to be clever in the decisions that we are going to take.”
In reality, this predicament shows the importance of strength in depth and Tottenham fans will expect Pochettino to be able to field a team capable of winning in the north east.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Hugo Lloris all were still involved in the World Cup at semi-final stage.
Tottenham may have to play a number of youngsters this weekend but will hope that the fringe men can step up and make a difference.
With silverware the aim this season, starting with a victory would be a big boost against a modest Newcastle side.