Eriksen set for Tottenham return as Alli faces race to be fit to face Man City

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Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that the Denmark international is set to make his comeback against West Ham, unlike the England star

Christian Eriksen is set to make his Tottenham return against West Ham this weekend, manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed, but Dele Alli faces a race against time to be fit to play Manchester City on October 29.

Playmaker Eriksen has been sidelined with a stomach injury that Denmark manager Age Hareide claimed may be "chronic", a statement quickly rebuffed by the player's agent, Martin Schoots.

The 26-year-old nonetheless missed fixtures against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City in the Premier League, Barcelona in the Champions League and Watford in the EFL Cup.

However, he is fit to play against the Hammers in this weekend's London derby, as is fellow midfielder Mousa Dembele, who has been struggling with a thigh problem.

Alli, though, needs more time to recover from a hamstring injury; the England international has missed three Premier League encounters already this season, and is doubtful for next week's games against PSV Eindhoven and Manchester City.

"It was a good time for us because we are going to recover a few players like Christian and Mousa Dembele," Pochettino told reporters.

"Still maybe 10 days more for Dele Alli and Danny Rose is the same, one week more. Jan Vertonghen is a little bit longer. But the most important thing is that we start to recover players. It will be a tough month of competition for us.

Christian Eriksen Tottenham 2018-19

"There are a lot of games ahead and it’s so important to have nearly all the squad fit to compete and play and to give options to rotate and share the games because it will be tough, the months we have ahead.

"We have seven games in one month, in four weeks, and it’s so important to have all fit to compete and to give the level that we want."

As well as Vertonghen, doubts also persist over the fitness of Victor Wanyama, with Spurs' squad stretched after a summer of inactivity.

The club did not add a single player in the transfer window, but Pochettino insists that he is delighted with the make-up of his squad, after the club's best ever start to a Premier League season.

"From day one I told you I am never going to judge the words of my boss (Daniel Levy). He is my boss, he is the owner of the club, I am not going to judge," he added.

"It was difficult to achieve the players we needed. That was impossible.

"I was happy and am happy with the squad that I have, 25 players. We have no regrets, we are happy.

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"When we started the season with three games that we won and we were top of the table people were talking in a different way, 'Oh how clever are Tottenham because they keep all the squad from last season'.

"After we lost some games all the alarms started to make a big impact in the perception.

But I need to remind everyone that is our best start after eight games, it is the best start in the Premier League for Tottenham and the perception is that we lost to Inter and Barcelona in the Champions League but we have one more point than last season and I am not happy about that because we are fifth in the table and the ambition is to be on the top."

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