Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has stated that he would be ‘very, very surprised’ if Erik Lamela plays for Tottenham this week, as he told his Europa League press conference.

Tottenham are preparing for a home clash against Ludogorets tonight and will then play their London rivals, Chelsea, at the weekend.

Lamela has missed Spurs’ last two Premier League matches because of a calf issue and it seems as though he will miss a further two games.

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Ahead of tonight’s game, Mourinho was asked to provide an update on his technically-gifted midfielder.

“Not this week,” said Mourinho. “Not this week. Not tomorrow [Thursday] and not on Sunday. I think I can say that.

“I will be very, very surprised if he managed to play Sunday. So, I will say not this week.”

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Just like his rivals across London, over on Merseyside and in Manchester, Mourinho has to deal with this heavy fixture load whilst playing in midweek and then on Sunday’s.

This is an ample opportunity for those not in the first-team picture to force Mourinho’s thinking and break into his starting XI.

But then again, those back-up players didn’t take that chance last time out, and with the January transfer looming, it will only result in one thing if that pattern continues.

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