Bad news for Tottenham, fitness doubt over key figure for Juventus clash

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Tottenham will be desperate to be as close to full strength as possible when they face Juventus next week, but Jan Vertonghen is reportedly a fitness doubt.

Spurs claimed a 2-2 draw in Turin in the first leg in what was a thrilling encounter, recovering from conceding two early goals to put themselves in a strong position to advance.

However, Juve are a huge threat offensively, and so Mauricio Pochettino’s side will have to keep things tight at the back in the return fixture if they wish to progress to the quarter-finals.

Unfortunately for him though, the Evening Standard report that Vertongthen, one of his most trusted and reliable defenders, is a doubt with an ankle injury and will have to prove his fitness between now and the game.

Pochettino though did paint a positive picture, as noted in the report, so it’s a little confusing as to why a big question mark has been raised as the Argentine tactician didn’t rule out the possibility of his central defender featuring against Huddersfield at the weekend.

However, there is just over a week until Juve arrive in London, and so it will be a concerning wait to assess the problem and make a decision on whether or not he’s able to play.

The last thing Tottenham want to do is bring him back too early and see him suffer another setback, either giving them a fresh headache during the game itself or beyond it.

Spurs have conceded just 24 goals in 28 Premier League games so far this season, with only the Manchester clubs boasting a better record. Having made 35 appearances in all competitions, Vertonghen, 30, has been pivotal in that tight backline and so he would be a major loss.

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