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Wenger on Sanchez: A bidding war is always beneficial


CHELSEA: Chelsea are expected to field a full-strength side. Captain Gary Cahill was rested for the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg with Arsenal and could return in defence. Ross Barkley is expected to be fit to make his debut following a hamstring injury in Chelsea's FA Cup third round replay with Norwich next Wednesday.

Provisional squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Kante, Hazard, Morata, Pedro, Bakayoko, Moses, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Clarke-Salter, Sterling, Eduardo, Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi.

LEICESTER: Jamie Vardy is fit again after missing Leicester's FA Cup trip to his former club Fleetwood. The striker will travel after recovering from the groin injury which made him sit out the goalless draw at Highbury Stadium last Saturday. Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson (both hamstring) and Robert Huth (ankle) are out but Christian Fuchs (illness) and Vicente Iborra (hamstring) are fit for Claude Puel's side at Stamford Bridge.

Provisional squad: Schmeichel, Hamer, Jakupovic, Maguire, Chilwell, Fuchs, Benalouane, Dragovic, James, King, Albrighton, Amartey, Gray, Silva, Ndidi, Mahrez, Iborra, Choudhury, Musa, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Ulloa, Iheanacho.


CRYSTAL PALACE: Knee and ankle injuries to Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend respectively have further reduced Crystal Palace's options. Manager Roy Hodgson has said Schlupp is "likely to be out for months'' and Townsend ``closer to one month''. Hodgson is also still without Joel Ward (groin), Mamadou Sakho (calf), Connor Wickham, Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon (all knee) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has a knock.

Provisional squad: Hennessey, Speroni, Fosu-Mensah, Kelly, Tomkins, Delaney, Riedewald, Souare, Van Aanholt, Cabaye, Mutch, Kaikai, Ladapo, Milivojevic, McArthur, Sako, Lee, Zaha, Benteke.

BURNLEY: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou could go straight into the Burnley line-up after signing on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season. The winger has impressed Sean Dyche in training this week and the Clarets boss has confirmed Nkoudou will feature in some capacity as they aim to get back to winning ways. Scott Arfield remains a doubt with a minor hamstring strain, while the trip will also come too soon for defender Stephen Ward (knee) and Chris Wood (leg).

Provisional squad: Pope, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Hendrick, Nkoudou, Barnes, Wells, Vokes, Lindegaard, Lowton, Westwood, Walters, Long, Marney.


HUDDERSFIELD: Huddersfield's new signing Alex Pritchard could make his debut for the club. Midfielder Pritchard completed his permanent move to the John Smith's Stadium from Norwich on Friday morning and is expected to go straight into David Wagner's squad. Recent loan signing Terence Kongolo hopes to make his Premier League bow in central defence, but forward Collin Quaner, plus defenders Chris Lowe and Martin Cranie, will miss out through injury.

Provisional squad: Lossl, Malone, Kongolo, Schindler, Jorgensen, Smith, Hogg, Mooy, Van La Parra, Lolley, Ince, Pritchard, Mounie, Depoitre, Coleman, Hefele, Hadergjonaj, Williams, Billing.

WEST HAM: Team news to follow...


NEWCASTLE: Goalkeeper Rob Elliot could return after shaking off a thigh injury. Elliot sat out last weekend's FA Cup third-round victory over Luton, as did defender Chancel Mbemba (knee), but both could be included in the squad for the Swans' visit to St James' Park. However, manager Rafael Benitez will still be without striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (back), who is closing in on a return, and defenders Florian Lejeune (foot) and Jesus Gamez (ankle).

Provisional squad: Elliot, Darlow, Woodman,Yedlin, Manquillo, Dummett, Haidara, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Merino, Hayden, Shelvey, Saivet, Ritchie, Atsu, Murphy, Aarons, Diame, Perez, Joselu, Gayle.

SWANSEA: Swansea have doubts over Tammy Abraham (hip) and Renato Sanches (hamstring). Midfielders Ki Sung-yueng and Leon Britton have rejoined the squad after calf injuries. Academy product Connor Roberts could make his Premier League debut, with Kyle Naughton completing a three-game ban and Angel Rangel sidelined by a calf strain.

Provisional squad: Fabianski, Nordfeldt, Roberts, Van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Olsson, Mawson, Mesa, Britton, Clucas, Carroll, Fer, Sanches, Ayew, Narsingh, Abraham, Bony, Dyer, Fulton, Routledge, McBurnie.


WATFORD: Team news to follow...

SOUTHAMPTON: Southampton could welcome back defenders Wesley Hoedt, Cedric Soares and Jeremy Pied. Hoedt (concussion), Soares (hamstring) and Pied (leg) have all returned to training and their fitness will be assessed before kick-off. Striker Charlie Austin remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Provisional squad: McCarthy, Forster, Bertrand, Stephens, Yoshida, Hoedt, Soares, Pied, Gardos, McQueen, Bednarek, Targett, Romeu, Lemina, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Davis, Boufal, Tadic, Redmond, Long, Gabbiadini, Sims.


WEST BROM: James Morrison and Nacer Chadli are out for at least another month. The midfield pair have suffered injury-hit seasons, with Morrison battling an Achilles problem which has sidelined him since September and Chadli struggling to overcome a hip issue. Jonny Evans (foot), Craig Dawson (fatigue) and winger Matt Phillips (hamstring) are fit to face Brighton on Saturday after sitting out the 2-0 FA Cup win at Exeter.

Provisional squad: Foster, Myhill, Palmer, Hegazi, McAuley, Dawson, Evans, Nyom, Gibbs, Brunt, Field, Livermore, Krychowiak, Barry, Burke, Yacob, McClean, Phillips, Robson-Kanu, Rondon, Rodriguez, Leko.

BRIGHTON: Izzy Brown will be absent after he was ruled out for the rest of the season. On-loan Chelsea forward Brown sustained cruciate knee ligament damage in the early stages of Monday's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace, cutting short his stay with the Seagulls. Midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not featured so far this season because of a back problem, has suffered a further setback by picking up an ankle complaint in training and remains Albion's only other injury issue.

Provisional squad: Ryan, Krul, Maenpaa, Bong, Bruno, Hunemeier, Duffy, Dunk, Rosenior, Goldson, Schelotto, Suttner, Kayal, Propper, Skalak, Knockaert, Stephens, March, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray, Hemed, Baldock.


TOTTENHAM: Tottenham will be without midfielder Harry Winks. Winks had an injection on his troublesome ankle on Monday, but is not available this weekend. Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are also out as they continue to recover from hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Provisional squad: Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Davies, Walker-Peters, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Dier, Foyth, Trippier, Aurier, Amos, Wanyama, Sissoko, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Son, Lamela, Llorente, Sterling, Kane.

EVERTON: New Everton signing Cenk Tosun is set for his debut. The Turkey international signed a week ago from Besiktas and manager Sam Allardyce confirmed he would be in the squad. Defender Michael Keane is still sidelined due to a gash to his foot which has reopened an old wound and is taking longer than expected to heal, while midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye (hamstring) is also out.

Provisional squad: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Jagielka, Martina, Schneiderlin, McCarthy, Bolasie, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Robles, Williams, Davies, Baningime, Lennon, Vlasic, Tosun, Niasse, Lookman.


BOURNEMOUTH: Bournemouth will hand late fitness tests to Josh King and Junior Stanislas. Both forwards have been battling hamstring complaints, but could yet return for the Dean Court encounter with the Gunners. Jermain Defoe and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined with long-term injury issues.

Provisional squad: Begovic, Boruc, Ramsdale, S Cook, Francis, Simpson, Ake, A Smith, Daniels, Surman, L Cook, Fraser, Gosling, Pugh, Hyndman, Ibe, Afobe, Wilson, Mousset, King, Stanislas.

ARSENAL: Midfielder Jack Wilshere could feature for Arsenal. Wilshere limped off during the Gunners' Carabao Cup semi-final tie at Stamford Bridge with an ankle issue, but may be fit for the clash on the south coast. Aaron Ramsey is back in the squad following a hamstring issue, but Mesut Ozil (knee) was rated as only "50-50'' by manager Arsene Wenger. Nacho Monreal (ankle), Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and Olivier Giroud (hasmtring) are still sidelined but Sead Kolasanic could return.

Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Mertesacker, Kolasanic, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Debuchy, Bellerin, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Wilshere, Elneny, Ozil, Ramsey, Iwobi, Sanchez, Welbeck, Walcott, Lacazette.


LIVERPOOL: Liverpool top scorer Mohamed Salah has recovered from a groin injury. Striker Daniel Sturridge is back in training after a muscle problem which has sidelined him for a month but is not in contention for the weekend. Midfielder Jordan Henderson (hamstring) and Alberto Moreno (ankle) are still recovering from their injuries with the latter closer to a comeback, although not in time for this weekend.

Provisional squad: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Karius, Klavan, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, Woodburn, Solanke, Ings.

MAN CITY: Vincent Kompany will likely remain sidelined. City's skipper is yet to feature in 2018 due to a calf problem and manager Pep Guardiola confirmed he is still struggling for full fitness. Gabriel Jesus (knee) went to Barcelona for his injury this week and Guardiola, who remains without Benjamin Mendy (knee) and Phil Foden (ankle), anticipates having his Brazilian striker back training in two-to-three weeks.

Provisional squad: Bravo, Ederson, Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph, Zinchenko, Toure, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Diaz, Sterling, Sane, D Silva, B Silva, De Bruyne, Aguero.


MAN UNITED: Team news to follow...

STOKE: Stoke could have Erik Pieters and Bruno Martins Indi available. The Dutch pair have stepped up their recoveries from hamstring and groin injuries respectively, returning to training this week. It was hoped skipper and fellow defender Ryan Shawcross, recently sidelined by a calf problem, would also be involved in training ahead of the game. There may be a debut for right-back Moritz Bauer after his switch from Rubin Kazan to the Potters, who have had first-team coach Eddie Niedzwiecki in temporary charge since the sacking of boss Mark Hughes last weekend.

Provisional squad: Butland, Grant, Zouma, Wimmer, Cameron, Martins Indi, Souttar, Bauer, Pieters, Edwards, Tymon, Fletcher, Allen, Adam, Ireland, Afellay, Shaqiri, Diouf, Choupo-Moting, Sobhi, Crouch, Berahino, Ngoy.

Injury Table

Nearly halfway through the transfer window, the only bit of business that Spurs have done so far is to send Georges-Kevin N'Koudou out on loan to Burnley.

It's a move that frees up a place in the Champions League squad for Erik Lamela as much as anything else. But other than that, nothing. And no one should be too surprised if it stays that way.

Not because the Tottenham ranks couldn't benefit from reinforcements in some areas, but because the chances of manager Mauricio Pochettino being able to get the players he wants are very small. Gone are the days -- hopefully -- when Spurs would buy someone just because he happened to be available.

There's also a feeling this January that Tottenham's gaze is principally directed toward the summer. Earlier this week, chairman Daniel Levy made it clear that Spurs wouldn't be selling any players over the summer that they didn't want to sell. This is a bold claim and might be easier said than done. Already there is a feeling of the vultures circling around the club: Toby Alderweireld is yet to agree a new contract after months of protracted negotiations; Dele Alli is the subject of constant media speculation, especially now he is getting back to something like his best form.

And then there are rumours linking Harry Kane to Real Madrid. This is the move that everyone at the club fears most, mainly because it could be the one most difficult to prevent. Not least because Madrid have been having a poor season with their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, badly off form and many believing his best days are behind him.

There can be little doubt that Real will step up the pressure to buy Kane in the coming months. They need a top striker and there are none better than Kane in Europe at the moment. The genius of Kane is that he doesn't appear to lose confidence in himself when he fluffs an easy chance. Time and again this season, he's missed clear-cut early chances only to end the game with a goal or three to his name. His self-belief, technique, hunger and fitness levels are in a class of their own.

Madrid also have the funds to make a serious bid. And if they were to offer a world-record fee of £200 million, would either Spurs or Kane be able to say no? Several years ago, Tottenham and Bale were unable to resist a then eye-watering fee of £90m and history could well repeat itself. And much as no one around White Hart Lane wants to admit it, Kane is bound to leave the club at some point. The chances of him playing the rest of his career at Tottenham are nonexistent. Top footballers have only a small window to cash in on their talent and make themselves financially secure for life, and Kane is now in that zone.

The main question is whether Spurs can keep Kane for one or two more seasons or whether the striker jumps ship now. Until now, Kane has been one of the most loyal players in his public pronouncements, never saying anything to add fuel to transfer rumours. But after last week's third-round FA Cup tie victory over AFC Wimbledon, the facade cracked a little as Kane declared he was happy to stay at Spurs so long as they were winning trophies.

As no fan needs reminding, the last time Spurs won anything was 12 years ago, when they beat Chelsea in the League Cup. So the inference is clear. Spurs need to start winning cups this season if they want to be in with a chance of retaining Kane for next season. Playing some of the most attractive football in the league, finishing second and winning the Golden Boot is no longer enough.

With the Premier League already as good as Manchester City's and the Champions League in all probability a bridge too far, that effectively means it's win the FA Cup this year or Kane might walk. Any thoughts Pochettino might have had of resting players in future rounds of the domestic knockout tournament must be shelved.

Somehow, Pochettino has to create a mindset where both the short-term anxieties of the transfer window and the long-term uncertainties of the squad are put to one side and players focus on each game as it comes. Though the Premier League title may have gone, Spurs desperately need a top-four finish to ensure Champions League football next year. Starting the first season in the new stadium in the Europa League is not what anyone had in mind.

The good news is that Spurs go in to this weekend's fixture against Everton in reasonably good shape. Victor Wanyama is coming back to something like full match fitness and Spurs look a much stronger unit with him at the heart of the defensive midfield. Even so, Everton will be a tough nut to crack. The side are much improved since their disastrous start to the season and Spurs will need to be at their best to take the points.

Much will depend on which Spurs turn up. All too frequently, Spurs have blown hot and cold this season, looking world-beaters in one game only to look slow and laboured in the next. At times, even Pochettino has appeared confused by his team's performances and has often seemed slow to ring the changes mid-game when his original plan isn't working.

It's time for both the players and the manager to show their class. There's only one way to ensure this squad sticks together and that's by winning. One game at a time.

John Crace is one of ESPN FC's Tottenham bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @JohnJCrace.