By 90Min
February 13, 2018

Mauricio Pochettino has offered an explanation as to why he hasn't included Toby Alderweireld for the crunch Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday.

The Belgian has been sidelined with a torn hamstring since November 1st and returned to action for the first time against Newport County in the FA Cup last month. But, he was then dropped for the North London Derby, and will now play no part against Juventus in Europe.

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Despite coming through unscathed against Newport, Pochettino revealed that he would be gambling the defender's career if he had thrown him in against the Gunners and the Old Lady, insisting he isn't as ready as he feels in himself. This after the Argentinian got a little agitated when questioned about his decision to leave him out after the 1-0 win over Arsenal.

As quoted by ESPN, he said: "From the day he got injured, our idea was to create a plan to help him, and we worked together with the medical and sports science [teams] to analyse his injury.

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"He is 28 and it was a massive injury that we need to care for, and be cautious because we cannot put his career at risk. 

''We designed a plan from day one to provide him with best tools to recover as soon as possible and be stronger than before.

"He started to work with the team, under our judgement, and he needed to build his fitness strongly. He needs to work hard. To play this type of game [against Juventus] you need to be 200 percent."

It's a bitter blow for Spurs being unable to welcome him back, but Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen have struck up a fine partnership in his absence, and Juve are missing a host of starters for the game including Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Andrea Barzagli, Benedikt Howedes and Blaise Matuidi.

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Eagle (-2)
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