Tottenham team news vs Rochdale: Pochettino names two Spurs men that won’t play

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that key defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen remain injured, and will not feature in Wednesday night’s FA Cup replay against Rochdale.

The League One outfit travel to Wembley after the first leg was drawn 2-2, with Spurs expected to make wholesale changes to the team that beat Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Tottenham fans will be concerned with news that Alderweireld and Vertonghen are struggling for fitness, especially with the crucial Champions League clash against Juventus on the horizon.

“Always you want all the players fit and available to be selected but that is why we are an amazing squad,” Pochettino told the club’s official website.

“We have a lot of players that wait for their opportunity and of course we are going to be more happy when all are fit, but if something happens like in the last week with Jan or with Toby, who for nearly four months now has been out, of course, you need the squad. We are ready to compete.

“We are going to rotate some players to give (them) the possibility to play. They are in a good level and then we are going to play again on Saturday – a short period to recover for a Premier League game – and then the Champions League.

“We are very busy with the fixtures but that is why we need all involved, to be fit and to be part of the situation. In the games they have the possibility to show their quality.”

With the Belgian pair unavailable, Pochettino fielded Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez in the heart of the Tottenham defence in the 1-0 win over Palace on Sunday.

The England international, who has become more-accustomed to playing in the heart of the Spurs midfield, played well at the back and showed leadership in the absence of other senior figures.

Pochettino will be tempted to bring Juan Foyth into the Tottenham first-team mix against Rochdale but will also have one eye on Premier League and Champions League fixtures coming up.

Alderweireld has been nursed back into first-team training of late, but an injury setback means that the 28-year-old seems unlikely to be ready to face Juventus.

Vertonghen’s knock kept him out of the Palace clash but Tottenham fans will have their fingers crossed that the Belgian recovers in time to face the Turin giants.

The FA Cup provides Spurs with a great chance to win silverware, with a potential away trip to face Swansea City to play should Rochdale be swatted aside tonight.