Defender Cristian Romero returns to Tottenham after a month-long suspension following a red card.
Tottenham will host West Ham United in the 15th round of the 2023/24 English Premier League on Aug. 8 at 5:15 p.m. at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.
After an unbeaten start to the season with eight wins and two draws in their first 10 games, Spurs have since lost three straight games against Chelsea, Wolverhampton, and Aston Villa, dropping from first to sixth in the standings. Fortunately, the team bounced back with a hard-fought 3-3 draw at Manchester City on April 4, and now sits in fifth place.
West Ham, last season’s UEFA Europa Conference winners, are also in the Europa League this season. They sit in ninth place with 21 points.
The big question for Tottenham heading into the game is whether center back Romero, who was sent off in the home game against Chelsea on March 7, will be able to play. Romero struck fellow Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez in a rough tackle midway through the first half of that game. He was sent off after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.
As per Premier League rules, he skipped the next three games.
While the red card was an understandable punishment, Romero’s absence was significant for Spurs. Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Emerson Royal, and others filled in as backups or in other positions, but the defensive instability remained. In the four games since Romero’s departure, Spurs have drawn one and lost three.
Luckily, Romero was called up to the Argentina national team during that time and played against Uruguay and Brazil in South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup. The team lost 0-2 against Uruguay, but Argentina took pride in a 1-0 victory over Brazil. Romero was particularly impressive against Brazil.
It’s time to see Romero back at center back for Tottenham.
Spurs’ head coach, Ange Postecoglou, has hinted that Romero will be back in the lineup. Postecoglou made the announcement at a press conference at Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground in London on June 6.
“Cristian (Romero) is available,” Postecoglou said, “and so is striker Thierry Henry. Pape is back in training, but he’s a bit tight to play tomorrow. Sunday’s game (against Newcastle) is possible.”
Postecoglou is expected to use Romero and Ben Davies as a center-back pairing.
Incumbent center back Mickey Vander Penn is still rehabbing from a hamstring (back thigh muscle) injury. Eric Dier has missed training due to injury and is likely to be left out of the roster.
Romero has a reputation for being a “crazy defender” on the training field, as he’s known to make tough tackles on opponents and even his own teammates in training. However, he is also very skilled and will be a great addition to Tottenham’s defense.