Mauricio Pochettino Refuses to Be Drawn on Toby Alderweireld’s Availability for North London Derby

Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld is back in contention for Mauricio Pochettino’s starting lineup after featuring in the side’s ​2-0 FA Cup victory against Newport on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old has given his manager a bit of a selection headache, having started the tie alongside fellow returnees Harry Winks and Danny Rose. But Pochettino has refused to confirm whether or not the player will feature when Spurs host London rivals Arsenal on the weekend.


Having watched the Belgian defender compete for the full 90 minutes for the first time in more than three months in his 200th game in charge of the north London outfit, Pochettino steered clear of voicing his intentions as it relates to Saturday’s fixture.

Alderweireld has been tipped to start alongside Jan Vertonghen against the Gunners, and he just might, barring another setback. But Pochettino claims to have made no decision as yet.

“No decision,” the Argentinian coach said to reporters (H/T SportsMole) on Thursday. “Yesterday was a game that was important to win and I am happy because the team showed a solid, professional performance and I am happy with everyone.”

The defender will hope that he can push on from Wednesday’s performance and keep his troublesome hamstring well-behaved, but the manager might be hesitant to thrust him into such an important match without being completely certain over his physical condition.

While he showed no ill effects during the midweek fixture, it was against a League Two side. Arsenal will present a greater challenge and with their exciting new signings poised to feature heavily, it might prove overwhelming for the returning defender.

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