Spurs rife with defensive woes

Tottenham are likely to be without a senior centre-back for Thursday's Europa League tie at Benfica as Younes Kaboul struggles to make the last-16 tie.

Erik Lamela of Spurs

Spurs face an uphill battle to progress to the quarter-finals in Lisbon, having lost the first leg 3-1 at White Hart Lane last week.

The north Londoners' task at the Estadio da Luz looks to be made all the more difficult by the alarming lack of defensive options at Tim Sherwood's disposal.

Jan Vertonghen is suspended for the match after receiving a booking in the first leg, while Vlad Chiriches and captain Michael Dawson are absent through injuries.

They look likely to be joined on the sidelines by Kaboul, who is understood to be struggling to face Benfica with an unspecified injury.

The French defender managed to play the full 90 minutes of Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, but only after undergoing a fitness test on the day of the match.

Defensive midfielder Sandro may well have to be deployed as a makeshift centre-back against Benfica, while right-back Kyle Walker may miss the trip to Portugal with a groin complaint.



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