Gareth Bale
Bale has yet to recapture the Tottenham form that convinced Real Madrid to pay £85m for him in 2013

Gareth Bale is set to miss “a few weeks” with a calf strain, says Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho.

Bale has made 11 appearances, scoring three goals, since returning to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in September.

“I wouldn’t say it’s serious,” added Mourinho, whose side play Fulham in the Premier League on Wednesday before taking on Leeds on Saturday, 2 January.

Spurs then face Brentford in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on 5 January, and travel to Marine in the third round of the FA Cup on 10 January.

Reports in the Spanish pressexternal-link in recent days claim Real Madrid fear Bale’s loan spell is not going well enough to prompt Tottenham or any other club to take the Wales international on a permanent deal and he may return to the Bernabeu next season.

Bale’s contract with Real is worth a reported £650,000 a week, until 2022. Real would prefer to use the money to recruit new players with Paris St-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland both linked.

TEAM NEWS

In addition to Bale’s injury, Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso will be absent with a hamstring injury that will also keep him out of Spurs’ new year fixtures.

Attacking options Lucas Moura and Vinicius are also doubts.

Loanee Mario Lemina is available for Fulham having been ineligible against Southampton last time out.

Terence Kongolo’s ankle injury will be assessed but Kenny Tete is expected to be available.

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Tottenham are not on a great run but I see it as a blip rather than the start of a slide away from the top end of the table.

I’m expecting them to get the better of Fulham. Scott Parker’s side have improved a lot, especially at the back, but they still can’t win games – which is why they are still in the bottom three.

Prediction: 3-0

Lawro’s full predictions v Grammy-winning producer and Leicester fan Fraser T. Smith

Tottenham's Harry Kane heads the ball

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Tottenham have won 10 of the last 11 Premier League games against Fulham.
  • Fulham haven’t scored more than once in any of the last 13 league meetings.
  • The Cottagers have won only three of their 36 away league fixtures against Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur

  • Tottenham are winless in four league matches, their worst run since a similar four-game spell between February and June.
  • Spurs have dropped a league-high nine points due to goals conceded in the last 10 minutes of matches.
  • Tottenham are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League London derbies, winning three and drawing four.
  • They have had just 22 shots in the second half of their last seven Premier League matches.
  • Spurs have lost their final league game in just one of the last 11 calendar years.
  • Only four of Spurs’ Premier League goals this season have not involved Harry Kane or Son Heung-min.
  • Son is one goal short of 100 for Spurs in all competitions.

Fulham

  • Fulham have drawn their last four league matches – as many as in their previous 43 top-flight games.
  • They could go five Premier League fixtures unbeaten for the first time since 2013.
  • Fulham have lost their last 13 Premier League London derbies, an all-time top-flight record.
  • They have only won 25 of their 131 Premier League London derbies.
  • They have earned four points from their last three away league games, as many as their previous 13 away matches in the competition.
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Spurs.



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