Dele Alli 'to be handed shock Tottenham start for Liverpool clash despite January transfer exit on cards'

DELE ALLI could be handed a shock start for Tottenham against title-chasing Liverpool despite his future at the club being in doubt.

Should the former England international, 25, be named in Antonio Conte's starting XI, it will be for the first time since the Italian's appointment.

According to The Athletic's David Ornstein, Alli is set to start against Liverpool despite the club being willing to let him leave next month.

The midfielder is more likely to leave on a six-month loan rather than a permanent deal.

Spurs are currently sat seventh in the Premier League and have two or three games in hand on some teams, in some cases four.

A Covid outbreak at the club has set Spurs back a couple of weeks and could leave players considerably less match fit.

Conte said on Friday: "They need time to be fit.

"Before picking the starting XI you have to take into consideration all of this.

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"For instance, to start with one player and after 60 or 70 minutes change him with one player who had Covid.

"In this situation, it’s important to have patience and take the right risk."

If Conte opts against fielding Alli against Liverpool, he could see some minutes on Wednesday when Spurs take on West Ham in the Carabao Cup.

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