Latest Tottenham news as Ange Postecoglou faces a huge team selection decision involving Destiny Udogie and Emerson Royal for Crystal Palace
Tottenham defender Emerson Royal could be in line for just his second Premier League start of the season against Crystal Palace. The Brazil international began as Ange Postecoglou’s chosen right-back, scoring in the 2-2 draw against Brentford, however he has since lost his place in the team to Pedro Porro.
Many were concerned about Porro and Destiny Udogie both playing, given they are very attacking full-backs, but Ange Postecoglou was far from concerned. In pre-season, when asked if they could play together, he said: “I wouldn’t read too much into the current line-ups I’m putting out and where people are playing but if you’re asking will they be full-backs, I would love them to play full-back. That’s the profile we’re looking for.”
His bold decision has since been backed up by their respective performances with Postecoglou praising the duo earlier this month. “Pedro has been super,” the Tottenham boss told the club’s official website. “Obviously, with our full-backs, we’re asking for a different type of role than they’re used to, and both him and Destiny have opened up really well to it.
“They’re trying to learn, trying to understand it. I think it suits Pedro in many respects because he’s such a good footballer, technically, he’s a very good footballer, but he’s also a great athlete.” Over the last two months, a settled back five of Porro, Udogie, Micky van de Ven, Cristian Romero and Guglielmo Vicario has developed, however that could change this evening.
Udogie went off early in the second half against Fulham with Postecoglou revealing he will be assessed ahead of the clash with Crystal Palace. “The two main ones from the other night are Pape and Destiny,” he said on Thursday regarding the latest injury news. “Pape is fine, he bounced back sort of 24 hours after the game. He had a bit of an illness but has trained well.
“Destiny we are still going to assess. Obviously it is a short turnaround from the other night. We’ll have a look today, see how things go and make a decision after that. Everyone else has come through fine and is available.” In the 2-0 win over Fulham, it was Emerson who came on for the Italy international and if is not deemed fit, a start appears likely.
Ahead of the game, Emerson has reposted a pre-match graphic promoting Spurs’ London derby against Crystal Palace from his agency Strategic Sports, on Instagram. Doing such, usually means an involvement in the matchday squad at the very least is likely and with Udogie as a major doubt, a first start in over two months could be on the cards for the Brazilian.