Lucas Moura is certain to start Tottenham’s Champions League showdown against Manchester City tonight but Fernando Llorente is set to miss out, according to Noel Whelan.
The Spanish striker replaced Harry Kane as the attack spearhead in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Huddersfield and was instrumental in the team’s 4-0 triumph.
Llorente supplied one assist for hat-trick hero Lucas Moura as he led the line impressively and maintained his excellent goal contribution this season.
But Whelan expects Son Heung-Min to return to the Spurs starting XI at the Etihad Stadium after being a substitute at the weekend as well as Dele Alli if he is given the all-clear after breaking his hand.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan said: “Moura will be playing against Man City, there’s no doubt about that. He is a massive talent with blistering speeds, lots of flair and great feet, all the attributes you want in a forward.
“Son will be in as well, and Alli will play if he’s fit as he’s a big-game player. I’m not expecting Llorente to start. He’s a useful back-up with his height and power but his lack of mobility is an issue, as he can’t get in behind centre-backs and stretch them.”
Llorente has scored seven goals and supplied five assists from 27 appearances this season, 19 of which have come as a substitute, and his goal and assist per minute ratio is as good as anyone at the club.
Moura has shone only intermittently since signing from Paris Saint-Germain in January of last year for a fee of around £25million.
But his weekend hat-trick lifted his tally for the season to 12 goals and should be enough to convince Mauricio Pochettino to start him against City in the absence of the injured Harry Kane.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club “have been sniffing around” an in-form number 10 to replace Christian Eriksen.