Manager Andre Villas-Boas has voiced his concern about the torrential rain that has plagued the Barclays Asia Trophy so far—and perhaps contributed to an injury suffered by Jan Vertonghen against Sunderland.
"The conditions are extremely poor, we have lost one player through injury," Villas-Boas told a press conference for the tournament in Hong Kong, as quoted by Jamie Jackson in his Guardian report.
"Not just because of the conditions, but it is a factor and I would ideally like to avoid circumstances like this."
A chance to test themselves against Premier League opposition in Manchester City may have prompted a greater focus and effort this weekend.
In the circumstances, a less intense effort from Spurs in their third-place playoff would not be surprising.
South China have proved they are no walkover—only losing 1-0 to Manchester City, and even beating Spurs back in 2009. For several players, the encounter with them is still a valuable opportunity to impress.
Villas-Boas told TottenhamHotspur.com that the likes of Gareth Bale, Lewis Holtby and Sandro are close to a return to action. New signing Nacer Chadli is also scheduled to make his bow against Monaco next week.
Competition for places is about to heat up, and South China offers one of the last chances for several players to show why they should be a starter this season.