- Tottenham will be without Alderweireld against Juventus, confirms Pochettino
- Belgian has been out with a hamstring injury since October
- Better news on Vertonghen, who returned to training on Friday
- READ MORE: Tottenham eye exciting swoop for Germany international, but risk losing key figure
Tottenham’s last-16 Champions League tie with Juventus is evenly posed, but Mauricio Pochettino won’t have a defensive boost for second leg.
The two sides played out a thrilling first leg in Turin with the score level at 2-2 ahead of the return fixture at Wembley next week, and both sides showed in the first meeting that they will threaten to score more goals.
In turn, as they hope to keep things tight at the back and avoid giving the Serie A champions the chance to find away goals of their own, Tottenham would have been hoping to have Toby Alderweireld back.
The Belgian international has been missing with a hamstring injury for months now, with his last Premier League appearance coming against Manchester United on October 28.
While he has stepped up his comeback in recent weeks, he still seemingly isn’t ready to make a return with Pochettino right to be cautious over the Spurs star.
“I think we need to be cautious with him because we still need to assess him every day,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “I don’t believe he can be ready for Juventus.”
It could have been even worse for Tottenham as there had been doubts over Jan Vertonghen too, which would have certainly left them anxious about being defensively sound against Juve.
However, as reported by Sports Illustrated, the experienced 30-year-old centre-half is expected to feature next week having made his return to training on Friday.
In an ideal world, Pochettino would undoubtedly love to have his two first-choice centre-halves available, but Alderweireld’s wait to return to action goes on and sensibly so as the last thing they want to do is aggravate his hamstring again and suffer a longer spell on the sidelines.