RALPH Hasenhuttl admits that he is unsure what members of his squad will be fit for selection with such a quick turnaround but insists Saints “are not scared” to face Antonio Conte’s Tottenham.

Spurs travel to St Mary’s following a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, and have four wins in their last five including a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in which they should have taken maximum points.

Conte’s side also defeated West Ham 2-1 to secure an EFL Cup semi-final matchup in January, with the stellar run under the new manager taking them up to fifth in the Premier League.

But Hammers were fifth going into Boxing Day too, while Saints have also taken points from Manchester United and Manchester City already this season.

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Hasenhuttl will have to make late calls on a number of his key players, with Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong making it off the bench at London Stadium on their return from injury, while Adam Armstrong was fit for the matchday squad and Nathan Tella could return after a COVID isolation.

Daily Echo: Stuart Armstrong has had to battle with a reoccurrence of a calf injury that kept him out between August-October (Pic: Stuart Martin)Stuart Armstrong has had to battle with a reoccurrence of a calf injury that kept him out between August-October (Pic: Stuart Martin)

Previewing the contest, Hasenhuttl offered an update on his thought processes: “Let’s have a look what we do. We have to look who is fit.

“We don’t have a lot of time and we invested a lot on Sunday so I must have a look at how many changes I can make, first we have to look who is ready and available to play, then we will look what we do.

“We will see what we must do, but we have our basic 4-2-2-2 shape which is always working. This is a good thing when you have a fundament that you can build up from, this is always helpful.”

He continued: “(Spurs are a) strong side, very mentally strong now with a lot of quality up front and every position. A very intense way of playing football now and, yeah, a super tough challenge for us.

Daily Echo: Spurs' Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura (Pic: PA)Spurs' Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura (Pic: PA)

“We are also physically a good team and we will fight for everything on Tuesday – this is for sure.

“This game (West Ham) gives us a little bit of a boost definitely, it helps us definitely for going into two home games now with our crowd behind us and showing a real fight.”

Each of England captain Harry Kane, South Korean megastar Heung-min Son and the physically impressive Lucas Moura made it onto the scoresheet to bring an abrupt end to Palace’s festivities.

The dynamic front three, when on form, is one of the most difficult to shut down in the Premier League, according to Hasenhuttl – and he says the trio taking it in turns to crush opponents is no shock.

Daily Echo: Brazilian Lucas Moura scored an athletic header versus Crystal Palace (Pic: PA)Brazilian Lucas Moura scored an athletic header versus Crystal Palace (Pic: PA)

“Yeah, it’s not so surprising when you speak about Kane, Son and Moura,” the boss added. “There is not much better in the Premier League.

“I think it was more important that he (Conte) stabilised the squad in the defence also and this is what he definitely did.

“I know that they are now working harder and tactically have taken a step forward, they are one of the best teams in the league but we are not scared.

“We have shown against top teams that we can take points and this is the plan again on Tuesday.”