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Pochettino says he won't sign cover for injured Vertonghen


Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino will resist the temptation to sign a replacement for Jan Vertonghen in the January transfer window as the centre back's ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.
The Belgium international rolled his ankle in Tottenham's 4-0 Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend that lifted them to second in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
Vertonghen, who has featured in 20 of Spurs' 21 league games this season, should be out for six weeks, shorter than initially expected, Pochettino said, adding that the 29-year old did not require surgery.
"Jan Vertonghen is okay, he's very positive. We're pushing him a lot. We expect six weeks, less than at first," the manager told a news conference on Thursday.
"We don't want to set the time limit. When your mind is positive it's easier to recover. He doesn't require surgery.
"We have plenty of players that can perform in his place and we are very happy with the squad and the players we have."
There was less positive news on the condition of midfielder Erik Lamela, with no clear timeline for the return of the Argentina international who has been out since the end of October with a troublesome hip complaint.
"Tomorrow he (Lamela) will have a scan," Pochettino added. "Still it is difficult to give the time that he can come back. We need to wait tomorrow because there is still some problems, and we are still not sure of the diagnosis.
"Now we start to be concerned about him because he is three months and still in a situation that has not moved on."
Tottenham travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City in the league on Saturday, with Pep Guardiola's men likely to be desperate to make amends after dropping into fifth place following a 4-0 drubbing at Everton last weekend.

Algeria on the brink after 2-1 defeat to Tunisia


Two defensive howlers left Algeria on the brink of elimination from the African Nations Cup as they lost 2-1 to neighbours Tunisia on Thursday in their second Group B match in Gabon.
Captain Aissa Mandi scored an own goal and Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam gave away a penalty that was converted by Naim Sliti in a horror second half for Algeria as Tunisia rebounded from their defeat at the hands of Senegal on Sunday.
Sofiane Hanni pulled a goal back a minute into stoppage time for Algeria, but it came too late for them to mount a comeback. Algeria, among the pre-tournament favourites, have one point and face Senegal next week, while Tunisia moved up to three points ahead of their final group game against Zimbabwe.
The result maintains a disappointing recent spell for Algeria, who fired coach Milovan Rajevac after they drew their opening World Cup group phase qualifier at home to Cameroon in October, and lost in the same competition to Nigeria in November.
Algeria started brightly on Thursday in a high-tempo opening spell with Yassine Brahimi having a free kick tipped over by Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi and Leicester City forward Islam Slimani having a header cleared off the line -- all inside the opening 10 minutes.
Sunderland's Wahbi Khazri, restored to Tunisia's starting lineup, then had two half chances before Algeria's African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez was set up by Slimani, but hit tamely at the goalkeeper in the 24th minute.
The opening goal arrived in the 50th minute when a cross from Youssef Msakni took a wicked deflection off the boot of Mandi and spun past Malik Asselah, who was making his debut in goal for Algeria in place of injured first choice Rais Mbolhi.
Sliti doubled the lead from the penalty spot 14 minutes later after Khazri had pounced on a weak back pass from Ghoulam and got away on goal, only for the defender to bring him down.
A Slimani effort was deflected narrowly wide as a largely ineffective Algeria produced a late rally, but the game had entered stoppage time when substitute Hanni hammered home unmarked.
Algeria had fought back from 2-1 down last Sunday to draw with Zimbabwe in their opener, but will have to move up a gear in their final group game if they are to stand any chance of progressing.

Tottenham defender, Jan Vertonghen expected to be out for six weeks


Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is expected to be out for six weeks with an ankle ligament injury, according to his manager Mauricio Pochettino. The 29-year-old centre-back turned his left ankle during the second half of last Saturday's 4-0 win over West Brom. "When your mind is positive it's easier to recover," said the Argentine boss. "He doesn't require surgery. "We have players that can perform in his place and we are very happy with the squad and the players we have."

Vertonghen has played in 20 out of 21 league matches this season, forming part of a defence that has conceded just 14 goals - the best record in the league. Pochettino, however, was unsure as to when attacking midfielder Erik Lamela would return to action. The 24-year-old has been sidelined since the end of October with a hip problem. "He will have a scan on Friday," he added. "Still it is difficult to give the time that he can come back. We need to wait tomorrow because there is still some problems, and we are still not sure of the diagnosis."

19 January, 2017  tobi   Sport News |
19 January, 2017  tobi   Sport News |


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