Tottenham Hotspur’s Ryan Mason doubtful for Burnley tie - will it have any effect?

Nabil Bentaleb is unavailable for Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup tie against Burnley, while Ryan Mason and Erik Lamela are doubtful.

Tottenham Hotspur will be without three of their first-team regulars against Burnley on Monday.

Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason and Erik Lamela are all set to miss the FA Cup third-round tie against the Clarets at Turf Moor.

While Algeria international midfielder Bentaleb has left for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, Mason is suffering with a hamstring injury and Lamela has a calf problem.

While 20-year-old Bentaleb is certain to miss out Monday’s game, Mason and Lamela are doubtful and are very likely to be excluded from the squad.

While Tottenham have coped without the Argentina international winger, who remains inconsistent, Mason has been a mainstay in the team.

The 23-year-old has been superb in central midfield and is one of the first names on the teamsheet.

However, Mason’s absence against Burnley should not be a cause for concern for Tottenham. Instead, it could be beneficial for the team.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was always going to make changes to his side, and the (likely) absence of Mason makes his job easier.

Benjamin Stambouli and Mousa Dembele have not played regularly this season, and the game against Burnley could see them start.

Brazil international Paulinho could also be given a rare start in midfield, and one suspects that all of them will be determined to give good accounts of themselves.

In an ideal situation, Pochettino would like to play his best team week in and week out, but he has a large squad at his disposal and it is now time to make use of it.

Of course, winning against Burnley on Monday is far from guaranteed, but Spurs will certainly head into the game as favourites despite Mason's likely absence.

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