Alderweireld to miss Juventus tie, Pochettino confirms

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Tottenham are unlikely to welcome Toby Alderweireld back for the Champions League game against Juventus, says Mauricio Pochettino.


Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino does not think defender Toby Alderweireld can recover in time to face Juventus.

The centre-back started FA Cup ties against Newport County and Rochdale after three months out with a hamstring injury, but is on the sidelines again.

Alderweireld is now struggling to recover from a thigh injury in time for Wednesday's second leg, with Spurs having battled from two goals down to draw 2-2 in Turin.

However, Pochettino feels Alderweireld's fellow Belgium international defender Jan Vertonghen could play against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday after returning to training following an ankle injury.

"We need to be cautious with him [Alderweireld]," Pochettino said on Friday. "I think still we need to assess him every day.

"I don't believe he can be ready for Juventus. But yes, [we are] happy because Jan is back again and maybe he is available for tomorrow to play.

"Both our eyes are focused on the game against Huddersfield. That for us is the most important game. It's an important three points for the battle for the top four. We cannot think of the game after.

"We need to be focused and ready to compete because it will be tough. Huddersfield are in a position where they need points too. For us the most important thing is tomorrow."

Having scored his first Spurs goal against Rochdale in the FA Cup, Pochettino indicated Lucas Moura could be in line to start against Huddersfield.

"He's going to have that possibility from now until the end of the season," Pochettino said of the January arrival from Paris Saint-Germain.

"It's true that he still needs to adapt his quality to the team. We're trying to build his fitness and adapt his characteristics to the team. PSG is a completely different demand, standard and philosophy from here.

"He's capable of everything going forward, he has amazing quality but then he needs to be more involved with the team when we don't have the ball.

"We're helping him. That is about training, understanding the position and being capable of making efforts with and without the ball. But we're so pleased with how he's adapting himself to the team.

"It's not easy for him to move in the winter window. Everything is new, for him, his family, his little baby. Your world changes when you move from Paris to London and then [you need to get] to know your team-mates, how the coaching staff thinks, how your manager is, if he jokes with you or is serious with you.

"We try to help him with advice and concepts. The priority is to build his fitness and leave him free to play and able to show his quality."

Wembley is ready to host Spurs' game against the Terriers despite the heavy snow in London this week, with Pochettino shrugging off the weather's effect on his side's preparations.

"No, not too much [impact]," the Tottenham manager said. "In the way that we work, of course it's a little difficult but the facilities that we have allowed us to carry on with the same plan.

"That's the advantage when you're at a club like Tottenham with these amazing facilities."