While some get a slightly longer break, the Premier League returns this week for the majority.

Champions Liverpool get going against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United, back in the big time for the first time since 2004, while plenty of eyes will be on Frank Lampard's lavish new Chelsea side.

With the Manchester clubs, Aston Villa and Burnley not involved, this is an opening matchweek where you can afford to be a little more selective as you look for names to get you up and running.

If you need a little advice, then look no further - this Opta-powered selection is sure to get you off to a flying start.

HUGO LLORIS

While there might be one or two too many of those 'rare errors' in Hugo Lloris' form over the past two years, he is undeniably still a hugely capable goalkeeper.

Don't believe me? Well, based on Expected Goals figures, he prevented 9.5 goals for Spurs last season, the most of any keeper in the Premier League. He also had the highest save percentage (79) in the competition. And he only played in 21 games.

Given Spurs are unbeaten in 15 league matches against Everton, Jose Mourinho has managed 10 opening-day Premier League games without losing, and the Toffees have won once in 19 top-flight visits to London, Lloris looks a pretty safe bet between the posts.

 

MATT DOHERTY

A goalscoring defender in a Jose Mourinho team? You'd be mad not to consider him.

Matt Doherty has scored 15 goals in all competitions since 2018-19, more than any other Premier League defender in that time. Looking at goals and assists (eight each) in just the league in the same time frame, only Andrew Robertson (25) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (30) have more goal involvements than Doherty's 16.

Given Spurs' recent good form against Everton (see above), Doherty represents a solid selection.

 

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

Yes, he's expensive, but really, there are few reasons to leave him out.

With five goals and 25 assists since 2018-19, Trent Alexander-Arnold leads the way in Europe's top-five leagues for goal involvements from a defender. He's hit double figures for assists (12 and 13) in each of the past two seasons, too.

Liverpool have not lost on the opening day of the top flight as reigning champions since 1924, and while Leeds United could make things tricky, Alexander-Arnold is almost certain to be involved in the Reds' best moments.

SON HEUNG-MIN

There's a real Spurs flavour to this week's picks - as we've established, Everton have a pretty lousy recent record against them - and Son Heung-min is another worth considering.

So often Spurs' go-to attacking star when Harry Kane is sidelined, last season saw Son register 21 goal involvements (11 scored, 10 assisted) in 30 games, his best record in England's top flight.

That works out at 118.3 minutes per goal or assist, which is enough to make the Everton defence feel more than a little nervous.

 

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG

Look no further for your first-week captain.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 16 goals in 13 Premier League games against newly promoted opponents. In two matches against Fulham in 2018-19, he scored three and set up another across 5-1 and 4-1 victories for his side.

The Gunners have lost once in 13 league meetings with Fulham and are unbeaten in 24 matches in all competitions in September, so it seems like now is the time to give Aubameyang the armband - assuming he stays at the club, of course.

TIMO WERNER

Brighton, beware: only four players scored more goals than Timo Werner (28) in all of Europe's top-five leagues last season.

A very expensive new starting line-up is likely to be fielded by Lampard against Brighton and Hove Albion and you can bet Werner will be front and centre (or maybe front and left - we're not second-guessing your formation, Frank).

Chelsea's defence might not be trustworthy, but backing Werner to hit the ground running is a safer bet.

 

DANNY INGS

Danny Ings got 22 goals in the Premier League last season, the most by a Southampton player since James Beattie in 2002-03. And Beattie was a real fantasy favourite.

Southampton start away at Crystal Palace, where they have won in each of their past three visits without conceding a goal, and their nine away wins last season (a tally bettered only by Liverpool and Manchester City) suggest a fourth in a row at Selhurst Park is forthcoming.

With Ings having been directly involved in 14 goals (12 scored, two assisted) in 14 top-flight away games, there is every chance he could be matchweek one's top performer.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes Anthony Martial has grown more confident under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

The forward made his first international appearance since March 2018 when he came on as a substitute in the 1-0 Nations League win over Sweden on Saturday.

Martial won a penalty after drawing a foul from United team-mate Victor Lindelof, only for Antoine Griezmann to miss from the spot.

The 24-year-old, who scored 23 goals in all competitions at club level last season, could be involved on Tuesday in the clash with Croatia after Kylian Mbappe hurt his ankle against Sweden.

Lloris thinks the pressure is now on Martial to follow up his most prolific season with continued good form, but the Tottenham captain believes the former Monaco man will benefit from playing in United's more fluid attack.

"I don't know how his relationship with Solskjaer is, but I think he's more confident," said Lloris.

"There's a very good understanding with the players around him at Manchester United.

"There'll be expectations on him; he will have to confirm his good season. He's committed to doing well for five, 10 minutes, a half or a whole game."

The meeting with Croatia is a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final, which France won 4-2 at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, but Lloris expects their opponents to be more concerned about making amends for a chastening 4-1 loss to Portugal last weekend.

"It's a different context, a different competition [to the World Cup]," he said. "It'll be a whole different game.

"We expect a Croatia team whose pride is a little hurt after the defeat to Portugal.

"We'll try to confirm the result we got in Sweden. Beyond that, we would have liked to have played in front of our fans. It's still an advantage when you play at home - we know they'll be in front of their TVs to cheer us on."

Kylian Mbappe is fit to play for France in Tuesday's Nations League meeting with Croatia after responding well to a right ankle knock, coach Didier Deschamps has confirmed.

Mbappe was forced off 77 minutes into France's slender 1-0 win over Sweden on Saturday, with the Paris Saint-Germain star suffering a blow to his foot.

The 21-year-old damaged the same ankle in PSG's Coupe de France final triumph over Saint-Etienne on July 24, just about recovering in time for the resumption of the club's Champions League campaign three weeks later.

Although Mbappe said after the unconvincing Sweden victory that he would be fine, Deschamps expressed concern and insisted he would take no risks with the prodigious forward.

But it appears he has recovered quickly and will be in contention for Tuesday's rematch of the 2018 World Cup final.

"It's okay, I've no particular worries," Deschamps told reporters on Monday regarding Mbappe's condition.

"He had a little shock during the game. He will take part in today's session. As he says, with each passing day things are getting better and better. I've no fears for his ankle compared to Saturday.

"The full 23 are available, Kim [Presnel Kimpembe] and Kylian too, they know it, I know it. I am not in the place of the clubs.

"This is an international match and we will do everything to win it, even if in the analysis I take different things into account."

While Mbappe is available, Deschamps may opt against throwing him in from the start due to his condition, meaning Anthony Martial – the PSG striker's replacement on Saturday – could get his first start for Les Bleus since a March 2018 friendly against Russia.

Deschamps recognises his versatility in attack is useful, while captain Hugo Lloris noted the 24-year-old appears more confident having enjoyed a resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

"He's capable of playing on the flank too, but in Manchester he's really a number nine," Deschamps said. "He might not have the typical profile of a centre-forward, though he has that versatility there. He has gained consistency and efficiency."

Lloris added: "I don't know how his relationship with Solskjaer is, but I find he is more confident."

France will be hoping to at the very least keep pace with Portugal at the top of Nations League Group A3 when they face Croatia, who were resoundingly beaten 4-1 by Fernando Santos' talented side on Saturday.

Portugal will be hosted by Sweden on Tuesday, with Cristiano Ronaldo potentially back in contention as they go for two wins from as many games.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard would not want to see his players engage in heated arguments on the pitch in the manner of Tottenham's Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min.

In the 1-0 win over Everton on Monday, the duo were involved in a flare-up at half-time and had to be separated by team-mates.

Lloris later explained he had been frustrated with Son's failure to track the run of Richarlison, who came close to scoring for the Toffees, but insisted they had put it behind them quickly.

Head coach Jose Mourinho was encouraged by such a show of fighting spirit from his players and Lampard was asked whether he would like to see the same thing from his Chelsea stars, with Tammy Abraham having lost the ball and failed to track back in the closing seconds of the 3-2 win over Crystal Palace, which resulted in Scott Dann hitting the post.

Lampard admits there are certain qualities his young players must improve, but he believes any such disagreements between team-mates should be confined to the dressing room.

"Tammy gave the ball away and has to react better and yes, of course, I speak with the players when these things happen," Lampard said ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Sheffield United on Saturday.

"It's part of the development but they can only go so far. Some things in football are basic and they need to do better. Tammy gets us the goal that wins the game, I know his intentions are good, all the players want to see out the game. It's a mistake that can happen to anybody.

"Reactions and work-ethic areas are where I would really come down hard, and I think generally with the players, we don't have that issue. But we do make mistakes maybe sometimes with the youthfulness and that's something we'll work on and get better at.

"In terms of issues on the pitch, I'm not mad on seeing players fight like that. I think those things should at least be held for the dressing room. It can happen on the training ground, in the dressing room. I'm not an advocate of saying, 'That's positive, it means they care'. Every situation is different and sometimes I feel with players pointing fingers at other players... they better make sure their game is right as well and that they're doing the right things.

"I think a good squad of individuals will push each other and it's more of an unspoken rule - you don't let each other down. I'm not mad on things being on show in front of everybody else like that, but we're all humans and sometimes it happens and how you deal with it after that is probably the important thing."

Chelsea are under pressure for a result against Sheffield United, with Leicester City just a point behind in the table and Manchester United only two adrift after their 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Thursday.

That game saw a controversial penalty awarded to Bruno Fernandes following a collision with Ezri Konsa, with referee Jon Moss awarding the spot-kick and VAR backing up his decision.

Lampard was surprised by the speed with which the penalty was given and allowed to be taken and wants more open dialogue with lawmakers to iron out VAR's problems.

"I only saw the Manchester United one and I was surprised how quickly it was dealt with and not looked over again," he said. "We had one at West Ham a couple of weeks ago when [Michail] Antonio was offside and pretty clearly interfering, and it took them a few minutes but they came to the right decision. [At Villa Park] it seemed to be that, by the time it came back, the penalty was being taken.

"So, I think there are probably issues to deal with, but I also sympathise with the referees then, the grey area of 'clear and obvious', because I've already heard a few different observations on the decisions of last night. But we need to open dialogue, we need to talk more, we need to try to get it as good as it can be. We may never be absolutely happy with this. I actually think that VAR, for the clarity it gives when it's gotten right and makes the right decision and helps the referee, then it works very well at times. What the referee needed with the Manchester United one, in my opinion, was help. In real time, I think it looked like it might have been a penalty; pretty clearly, when we had all the advantage of replays, it didn't look so."

The on-field incident between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min during Tottenham's win over Everton showed the desire within the team to do better, according to Lucas Moura.

Captain Lloris and forward Son were involved in a disagreement as the players left the field at half-time in Monday's Premier League fixture, though the former insisted after the game there was no problem between the pair.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho described it as "beautiful" in his post-match interview following the 1-0 triumph, with Lucas insisting such occurrences are "completely normal" within most sides.

The Brazilian forward also believes the bust-up - Lloris revealed after the final whistle he had taken issue with his team-mate for failing to track back with Everton's Richarlison - is a positive sign as Tottenham aim to make a late charge to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"It's completely normal in a team," Lucas told Sky Sports when asked about the disagreement between his colleagues. "I think every team has this. 

"It shows that we want to win, we want to be in a better position. 

"We know that we can do better, we know our quality. 

"When we get angry with each other on the pitch, it's to show that we can do better." 

The narrow home victory over Everton lifted Spurs up to eighth in the table, though they still face an almighty task to climb into the top four with only five games remaining.

However, fifth place - currently occupied by Manchester United - could yet be enough to get Champions League football, depending on the verdict of Manchester City's hearing with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We still have five games to play and we still have the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League," Lucas said ahead of Thursday's trip to relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

"We know it's very, very difficult, but it's not impossible. We know, in football, anything can happen. 

"If we qualify for the Europa League, it's not our objective because we want Champions League but it is also a beautiful competition." 

Hugo Lloris insisted there was no problem between him and Son Heung-min after the Tottenham team-mates clashed during Monday's win over Everton.

The duo were involved in a flare-up at half-time of Spurs' scrappy 1-0 triumph, which marked head coach Jose Mourinho's 200th Premier League victory.

Captain Lloris admitted the incident, which happened as the players made their way off the pitch, related to Son's failure to track back as Richarlison went close to scoring for the Toffees.

France goalkeeper Lloris suggested there was nothing serious to it, with the pair embracing at full-time.

"It just belongs to the changing room – outside you can say whatever you want," he told Sky Sports.

"What happened between me and Sonny is part of football sometimes. There's no problem. At the end of the game you could see we were more than happy.

"[It was related to] a chance [for Richarlison] a few seconds before half-time. But it's part of football – we move on."

Mourinho felt the incident, which he curiously described as "beautiful", was a manifestation of his desire to see his players be "more demanding of each other".

"It's beautiful. It's probably as a consequence of our meetings," he said.

"If you want to blame someone for that, it's me. I was critical of my boys – they were not critical enough with themselves. I asked them to be more demanding of each other.

"Son is an amazing kid, everybody likes Son but the captain told him you have to do more and give more to the team.

"It's something needed for the team to grow up – to grow up you need big personalities. When you have that reaction I had no doubts."

Michael Keane's first-half own goal proved the difference as Spurs bounced back from their 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United last time out.

The win leaves them seven points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and nine adrift of the top four in their pursuit of Champions League football and Mourinho knows his side must improve on Monday's display.

"It was not an artistic performance," he said. "Hugo didn't have to make great saves. Richarlison and [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin are a couple of the best strikers in England and we controlled them very well.

"We were speaking a lot about our attitude. The way we played against Sheffield United, someone in front who doesn't know we are fighting for a European place probably thinks we're a mid-table team.

"Today we tried to score more goals and had couple of chances with Son that could have killed the game."

Tottenham bounced back from their defeat to Sheffield United in underwhelming fashion as a Michael Keane own goal earned a 1-0 Premier League win over Everton.

Spurs' Champions League hopes were left hanging by a thread after they slipped to a limp 3-1 defeat at Bramall Lane last time out.

Jose Mourinho's men were not much better in the more familiar confines of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday, but Keane's moment of misfortune proved enough to see off a dismal Everton side.

Captain Hugo Lloris was involved in a half-time flare-up with Son Heung-min and an unconvincing triumph that moves Tottenham within seven points of fifth-placed Manchester United will do little to improve the mood in the camp.

Tottenham struggled to break down their visitors in the opening stages but a 21st-minute effort from Lucas Moura almost brought about the opener as his 25-yard effort skimmed the left-hand post.

Just three minutes later Tottenham were ahead as Giovani Lo Celso's effort took a very fortuitous ricochet off Keane that left Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford helpless.

Despite their half-time advantage, there were clear signs of discord in the Tottenham dressing room as an argument between Lloris and Son threatened to boil over as they left the pitch.

The pair had to be separated by their team-mates and only the reflexes of Pickford prevented Son from putting further distance between Spurs and Everton after the restart, the England goalkeeper twice denying the South Korea star.

Spurs had no problem protecting their lead but the prospect of them catching in-form United with five games to play looks an extremely unlikely one.

What does it mean? Win doesn't paper over cracks for Tottenham

Tottenham may be back to winning ways, but it was a victory claimed in uninspiring fashion and the frayed tempers Lloris and Son displayed at the interval suggest all may not be well for a team clinging on to faint hopes in the race for Champions League football.

Son sparked into life

The heated exchange with Lloris did appear to have a negative impact on Son, who was the only player to offer a genuine threat of scoring in the second half.

Toffees toothless

Spurs' may have been punished for their malaise on another day, but Everton offered next to nothing, producing two shots on target that were no test for Lloris.

What's next?

Spurs travel to Bournemouth on Thursday, when Everton host Southampton.

Hugo Lloris believes last season's Champions League final heartbreak and a lack of stability account for Tottenham's struggles in the 2019-20 campaign.

A little over a year ago, Spurs were finalists in Europe's premier competition but went down 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

Since then a lot has happened. Mauricio Pochettino was sacked in November with Spurs sitting 14th in the Premier League and Jose Mourinho was brought in to turn the tide.

The results have been mixed, with Tottenham out of every competition and facing a battle to secure a top-four finish when the Premier League resumes after the coronavirus-enforced hiatus next week.

Asked to explain Spurs' fall, Lloris said in quotes reported by the Daily Mail: "Wow, it's difficult to explain.

"Last season, we went on an incredible run in the Champions League and we finished the season on our knees and you don't have time to recover from one season before you have to start a new one"

Spurs' rocky campaign has been beset by injury issues. Lloris himself missed three months with a dislocated elbow, while star striker Harry Kane and talismanic forward Son Heung-min would have missed the rest of 2019-20 had the global health crisis not afforded extra recovery time.

"There was the accumulation of things that provoked the situation, and then of course a lot of injured players," Lloris explained. 

"The change of manager. It's difficult to stay stable and to be always looking at the top. There is sometimes one season when everything goes against you."

Spurs are seven points adrift of the Champions League places with just nine games to play and start the resumption of their campaign with a crucial home fixture against fifth-place Manchester United.

Lloris is relishing the chance of a fresh start and welcomed the prospect of having Kane back in the fold to boost their flagging European ambitions.

"It's like a new season that is going to start," Lloris said. "It's true to say we were not at our best. But it belongs to the past. 

"The team will look different to a few months ago. We are more or less all fit, this is a big difference.

"He [Kane] is ready. In his mind he is ready and that's the most important thing. He recovered very well from his bad injury and he is the one really looking forward to getting back into the competition.

"Everyone knows his targets, his ambition and his willingness to win. We all need the repetition of games to reach our best level, but that is going to be the case even for the opponents we are going to play.

"Harry is in a good place and just waiting to start the season again, like all of us."

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes it would be "cruel" if Liverpool were denied the Premier League title due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp's men were 25 points clear at the top of the table when the season was suspended in March due to COVID-19.

It remains to be seen when, and if, the Premier League campaign will resume, with recent reports suggesting it could get back underway in June.

Lloris, whose Spurs were eighth in the table, wants the season finished and said it could be particularly harsh on Liverpool.

"We are in a situation where everyone wants to finish and have the decision on the field," he told L'Equipe.

"It would be terrible if everything ended like that nine [matches] before the end of the Premier League.

"It would also be cruel for Liverpool with the lead they have … they are almost champions. As with everyone, there would be a taste of unfinished business. In addition, we are entering the most exciting period, the most beautiful moment of the season."

If the Premier League season resumes, it will almost certainly be without fans in attendance due to coronavirus, which has killed more than 248,000 people worldwide.

Lloris said it would be unusual to be playing behind closed doors, but added the financial positions of leagues and clubs needed to be considered.

"It will be weird wherever it happens. Football is not a closed-door sport," he said.

"Without the spectators, it is not the same. This is not how I see football. We are here to gather, share our emotions.

"We all want full stadiums with atmosphere, fans, colour and songs, but here we must take the context into consideration."

David de Gea has played himself back into form in the past few weeks, but Sunday was something of a mixed bag for Manchester United's number one.

In only the third minute, he dithered over a kick for so long that, when he finally tried to send the ball forward, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin was able to block it into the United net.

De Gea did go some way towards making amends, saving well low to his left two minutes later to stop Calvert-Lewin scoring a second before producing a brilliant block with his leg to deny Gylfi Sigurdsson in the dying moments. That save earned a slice of luck, with Calvert-Lewin then seeing a potential winner disallowed for offside.

Still, United fans could argue De Gea cost them a victory, and the Spain international has now made seven errors leading to Premier League goals since the start of last season*. No goalkeeper has been responsible for more.

In fact, during the relative wilderness of the post-Alex Ferguson years, De Gea has committed 10 mistakes leading to league goals, which is not a brilliant statistic for a man who has won United's player of the year award four times since Fergie retired in 2013.

However, as you will see below, De Gea is far from the top of the list of erring goalkeepers since the start of 2013-14...

THE MOST ERRORS LEADING TO GOALS BY GOALKEEPERS IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE SINCE THE START OF 2013-14

Asmir Begovic: 18
Hugo Lloris: 17
Simon Mignolet: 14
Lukasz Fabianski: 12
Jordan Pickford: 12
Joe Hart: 12
Petr Cech: 11
David de Gea: 10
Brad Guzan: 10
Artur Boruc: 10

*For context, Opta define an 'error' as a mistake from a player that leads to a shot or a goal. For goalkeepers, the definition is extended to 'spills and attempted claims or saves by a goalkeeper which directly leads to a second attempt to score'.

Hugo Lloris said Tottenham must dare to dream of another Champions League comeback after a 1-0 home defeat to RB Leipzig.

The first-leg loss in the last-16 tie puts Spurs in trouble, needing to find a big performance when the teams meet again in Germany on March 10.

Timo Werner's penalty settled the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium clash, with Lloris named man of the match by England boss Gareth Southgate after a string of saves that kept Leipzig at bay until the 56th minute.

Injury-hit Tottenham began slowly and three times in the opening 90 seconds Leipzig threatened to open the scoring.

But Spurs improved in the closing quarter of the game and Lucas Moura might have done better with a late header that he sent over the crossbar.

Given their heroics against Ajax in the Champions League semi-finals last year, when Spurs came from 3-0 behind on aggregate to go through on away goals, Lloris knows not to give up hope.

He says Tottenham can "try to create another story".

"I want to stay positive, especially after what we have seen in the last 20 minutes," Lloris said. "Obviously if we had started in the same way we finished, probably the score would have been different, but there's a second leg so we still have options.

"It wasn't the best result, but we have to deal with that. We are still there.

"It's true we have to give a lot of credit for Leipzig. They pressed very high and they're a very, very good team with a lot of energy. They run a lot.

"It's not easy, but we had some situations we could have maybe managed better. But it's football and now we have another big game on Saturday [against Chelsea in the Premier League]."

Tottenham have been hit hard by the loss of star strikers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, with both players facing a battle to get back onto the field before the end of the season.

It has left head coach Jose Mourinho with a major challenge as he bids to guide the team into next season's Champions League, while also fighting in this term's competition and in the FA Cup.

"With all the circumstances against us in the last few weeks, the last few months, we need to stay positive," Lloris told BT Sport.

"It's not the time to give up or to find excuses. We have to fight until the end. There's plenty of games in front of us. We're not really happy with the result, but we have to deal with that.

"We did it last season so let's hope. With our fans, let's try to create another story."

Serie A strikers Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile lead the line in FIFA Ultimate Team's latest Team of the Week.

Lukaku and Immobile are two of the form front men in European football, and the duo have earned recognition following their latest goalscoring exploits.

Inter striker Lukaku grabbed both goals in a 2-0 away win at Udinese on Sunday.

And Immobile matched that haul as Lazio thrashed SPAL 5-1, the Italy international's brace taking his 2019-20 league tally to 25 already.

The duo are far from the only big names in this week's selection, however, with Roberto Firmino, Jadon Sancho and Hugo Lloris also among the new in-form cards.

Find the full squad below.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 89

CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Piemonte Calcio/Juventus) - 87

LB: Alex Telles (Porto) - 87

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 84

CM: Daniel Parejo (Valencia) - 88

RM: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 88

CAM: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 87

CM: Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) - 86

CF: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) - 88

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 90

ST: Romelu Lukaku (Inter) - 88

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 83

CB: Kaan Ayhan (Fortuna Dusseldorf) - 81

RM: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) - 81

ST: Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo) - 84

RW: Daniel Ginczek (Wolfsburg) - 82

ST: Kasper Dolberg (Nice) - 81

LW: Oussama Idrissi (AZ) - 81

RESERVES

CM: Alexandru Maxim (Gaziantep) - 79

CM: Alexandru Cicaldau (Universitatea Craiova) - 78

LM: Ahmet Engin (Duisburg) - 76

LM: Nathan Thomas (Carlisle United) - 74

LW: Said Benrahma (Brentford) - 80

Jose Mourinho offered no specifics when asked when Hugo Lloris could be back in action for Tottenham, after the goalkeeper made his return to training this week.

Lloris has been out since suffering a gruesome dislocated elbow in Spurs' defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in October.

The France keeper has not played for Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino in November, but appears to be edging closer to his first appearance under the Portuguese's stewardship.

Tottenham posted on Twitter on Friday that Lloris had returned to training with the first team, and Mourinho is hopeful of his absence coming to an end next month.

"I told [you] one month ago, I said February. So, the normal thing is February. If you ask me late February or early February, at this moment I go more for early," Mourinho told a media conference.

"Things are going well. He's getting his confidence back, he's training so I would say he's one of our new players in the January transfer window."

One new player Spurs have already brought in is midfielder Gedson Fernandes, who joined on an 18-month loan from Benfica with an option to buy.

Fernandes is set to make his debut when Tottenham visit Watford on Saturday.

"This weekend they can expect him to be involved, starting or not but for sure involved in the team," added Mourinho. 

"When you get players in January, normally it's because you need. And we need because we lost important players for a long time so we need his contribution. Young player, yes, just arrived in a new country, yes, but at the same time he has experience of playing for a big club.

"He has played already big matches, for instance Bayern Munich and Galatasaray away in the Champions League, Europa League quarter-finals, so he's used to a high level of stress, pressure, responsibility.

"He's a kid that can play different positions in midfield, even wide on the right if we need. We got him for his multi-functionality.

"He's what I used to call a special loan. He's not a three-month loan and goodbye. [It's a] one-and-a-half-year loan when he'll have time to develop, and who knows if he doesn't stay here for a number of years."

Jose Mourinho said it would be like having "two new players" as he confirmed Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies should be back in action for Tottenham by the end of January.

Spurs are going through a difficult period, having won only once in their past five matches and lost key players Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko to serious injuries.

But head coach Mourinho is expecting to have first-choice goalkeeper Lloris and left-back Davies on the pitch by the end of January.

Lloris suffered an elbow injury at the start of October, meaning Paolo Gazzaniga has had to deputise, while Davies has been missing since sustaining ankle ligament damage in Mourinho's first match at the helm on November 23.

"The good news is that before the end of the month we have two new players, Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies. This is good news," Mourinho said in Friday's news conference ahead of facing Liverpool.

"Lloris never played a game for me, Ben played one, and very, very well in a system we were trying to develop, which was only possible with him because he's the one left-back that can play in that inside position, as Danny Rose is a pure left-back, Jan Vertonghen is not a left-back and Ryan Sessegnon is learning how to be a left-back.

"So, Ben is very important for our project. So, it's good news.

"[Lloris' return] is very important. He's the captain with Harry. We lose one, it's nice to recover the other.

"The experience, the way he plays, speaking - it's very important for a goalkeeper to play and speak at the same time.

"We have a goalkeeper that's doing his best and we have confidence in him. For Hugo to be back after such an important injury is good and it opens space in the medical department.

"Some people are leaving the medical room, some people are coming in. Is there an area in the medical department with a plate saying Hugo Lloris? Because he's there every day for the past three months."

Jose Mourinho expects Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could be available for selection in February.

The France captain was ruled out for the rest of 2019 when he sustained a dislocated elbow and ligament damage in a fall during a Premier League game against Brighton and Hove Albion in early October.

Paulo Gazzaniga has proven an able deputy for Lloris, with Mourinho describing the goalkeeper as having "magic hands" after a key late stop in Spurs' 2-1 win at Wolves last weekend.

But Lloris is on the comeback trail and, speaking ahead of Sunday's home league game against old club Chelsea, Mourinho offered an update on the 32-year-old.

"He's a champion. Not just a champion of the world but also a champion as a professional," Mourinho said of Lloris. 

"He works very, very hard, very brave, accelerates processes, but there are limits of that acceleration of process with such an important injury. But he's doing amazingly well.

"He's working with a different group of people, since the physios, until the goalkeeping coaches, working really, really hard.

"It's difficult to set up a date, I would say February. I probably would not be far from it and February goes from the 1st to the 29th this year [2020]."

Lloris would, therefore, be in line to return for France in time to help Didier Deschamps' World Cup winners attempt to follow that success at the European Championships.

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.