By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes

Erik Lamela is expected to return to the Tottenham squad for Sunday’s Premier League showdown against Manchester United, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

But long-term absentees Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie will be assessed on Saturday before they are given the green light to return to the squad.

Vice-captain Vertonghen has said he is “close” to a first-team return after over two months on the sidelines, while Lamela and N’Jie have trained fully this week.

“We expect Erik Lamela to be available,” said Pochettino on Friday, as quoted by the official Tottenham Twitter account. “We will assess Jan Vertonghen and Clinton tomorrow.”

Lamela, who missed the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last Saturday following the international break, and Cameroon international N’Jie were pictured on Wednesday taking part in a group session with the first-team squad.

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Spurs confirmed via their Twitter account on Friday that the trio are in contention for Sunday’s clash at White Hart Lane.

Spurs are second in the Premier League although they slipped seven points behind leaders Leicester in the wake of their 1-1 draw at Liverpool last Saturday.

N’jie has been out for four months after undergoing surgery on the his medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee in December.

The impending return of the 22-year-old winger could give Pochettino a valuable extra option in the team’s title run-in.

The other principal Tottenham team news is that defensive kingpin Vertonghen is closing on a return to the team after a knee injury of his own.