Ange Postecoglou has Ashley Phillips answer as he decides on four Tottenham changes vs Wolves


Ange Postecoglou will have to shuffle his pack when it comes to his Tottenham team to take on Wolves following a nightmare outing against Chelsea on Monday evening. Not only losing the game 4-1 as their unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end, Spurs saw Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie dismissed from the field of play and they also lost Micky van de Ven and James Maddison to injury.

Now set to be without Udogie for one game and Romero for three following their respective red cards, Tottenham will be assessing the extent of Van de Ven's hamstring injury and will be hoping that he isn't sidelined for an extended period of time. The same also goes for Maddison as he has been instrumental in their impressive start to the 2023/24 season.

So what changes could the head coach make for Saturday lunchtime's trip to Molineux? takes a look below.

Dier for Romero

One change that will almost certainly happen is Eric Dier coming in for Romero. The Spurs centre-back was introduced in the 34th minute following the Argentine's red card and he performed incredibly well in his first appearance of the season.

On a night when some players would have struggled coming into a game with no minutes in the tank, the England international delivered a fine showing and frustrated Chelsea countless times. Romero's three-match ban now means that the long-serving defender will get a decent run in the Tottenham team over the next few weeks as he looks to make his case to Postecoglou.

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READ MORE: What Tottenham squad could look like vs Wolves without Van de Ven, Maddison, Romero and Udogie

Phillips for Van de Ven

Tottenham are now incredibly light at centre-back following Van de Ven's injury and Romero's suspension, thus opening up a gap for Ashley Phillips to make his bow for the club. Signed in the summer from Blackburn Rovers and named on the bench on a handful of occasions so far this season, the 18-year-old is yet to take to the pitch for his new club.

Whereas Emerson Royal and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg excelled when utilised at centre-back against Chelsea and with Ben Davies potentially available for selection again, Postecoglou may opt to plump for a player who is a centre-back first and foremost and that could hand Phillips the advantage. Clearly making an impression on the boss since his move to the club, the England Under-19 international may well come straight into the team and hopefully be the answer to the head coach's dilemma.

If not, it may be one of Emerson, Hojbjerg or Davies who plays alongside Dier.

Emerson/Davies for Udogie

The absence of Udogie at Wolves could very well see Emerson operate at left-back. Playing in the role in the last three games against Fulham, Crystal Palace and Chelsea when coming off the bench, the Brazil international has played incredibly well during his pitch time.

His reward for that could be a start against Wolves, with Davies another candidate for the position if he is fit and ready to play after his recent absence. However, it my be Emerson who is the slight favourite for a starting spot after catching the eye of late.

Lo Celso/Bentancur for Maddison

It remains to be seen how long Maddison will be out for after going down under no contact in the Chelsea box. Postecoglou admitted in an interview with the BBC that his player sustained a "knock on the ankle" and "it made sense to make a couple of changes at that point" with Tottenham already one man down.

Sounding like Maddison was taken off more as a precautionary measure, Spurs will now assess their player and hope for the best. If he is to be out of the Wolves encounter, Giovani Lo Celso and Rodrigo Bentancur will be vying for a starting spot.

The former is perhaps the player most suited to Maddison's role but Bentancur has stepped up his fitness in the past two games and last term he demonstrated that he can have a huge say in the final third. The last thing Tottenham want to do with the Uruguayan, though, is rush him back into the starting XI too soon as that could work against the player.

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