James Maddison ‘ready to start’ for Tottenham in FA Cup clash with Man City

James Maddison is available for Tottenham’s FA Cup tie with Manchester City but boss Ange Postecoglou has yet to make a decision on whether he will start Friday’s clash.

Maddison has not played for Spurs since he sustained ankle ligament damage in a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea on November 6.

England international Maddison flourished after he moved to the club in a £40million deal from Leicester last June, scoring three goals and providing six assists in 12 appearances, and he will return to action against FA Cup holders Man City.

Postecoglou revealed: “He’s trained all week and he is fine.

“He is available and ready to start… when someone is available I assume they are ready to start.

“Whether they do or not depends on what I see with everyone else tomorrow and I usually make those decisions on game day.

“Like I said, the beauty of it is he’s got through the week really well and is ready to go.”

There is further positive news on the injury front with Ben Davies and Dane Scarlett both training again after hamstring problems, while Dejan Kulusevski has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Manchester United a fortnight ago.

End of Year Review 2023
Dejan Kulusevski has recovered from illness for Tottenham (Martin Rickett/PA)

“There are not too many, not just in our squad but around the league, that are like Madders and we had to cover that absence in different ways,” Postecoglou acknowledged.

“We’ve had Deki Kulusevski play through there, Gio stepped in there and got some goals for us. Our front three have really picked up and we’ve got goals from set-pieces.

“Pedro (Porro) has become really creative in that midfield area so we’ve picked it up, but I guess the beauty of that is when Madders is back in there, we’re not just relying on him.

“Maybe at the start of the year we were a little bit more relying on him and we’ve found out through this period we don’t have to be, but having him in there certainly adds in that space for sure.”

Brighton and Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – American Express Stadium
Son Heung-Min is on Asian Cup duty with South Korea (Gareth Fuller/PA)

It is only two months since Tottenham fought back to claim a 3-3 draw at Manchester City amidst a major injury crisis.

Postecoglou played down the significance of that result on this fixture or if opposite number Pep Guardiola will be thinking about his team’s poor record at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where they have failed to score in five games.

He added: “I’ve got no idea what’s on Pep’s mind, mate. No idea.

“I don’t think anyone in the game today looks at those things too closely as a predictor of what’s ahead. It’s fair to say there has been a fair bit of change in our team and their team and every game is a bit different.

“I’ll be surprised if there’s no goals tomorrow! I think it will be a great challenge and it should be a cracking game.”

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