Toby Alderweireld set to make Tottenham Hotspur return for Premier League trip to Brighton & Hove Albion
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The experienced central defender hasn’t even made the Spurs bench in recent weeks, but will be involved at the AMEX
Toby Alderweireld is set to return to the Spurs squad for their trip to Brighton & Hove Albion this evening and potentially make his first appearance for the club since February 18.
The Belgium has endured a frustrating campaign with a hamstring injury in November the first of many problems for the centre back.
With Alderweireld unavailable, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez have built up a good rapport at the heart of Tottenham Hotspur’s defence, but both looked ragged during Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat to Manchester City.
And with that in mind it now seems likely Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino could return to the former Southampton defender, who in recent weeks hasn’t even made the bench.
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Alderweireld’s last outing for Tottenham was during the 2-2 draw at Rochdale in the FA Cup, although he has played for Belgium since and will aim to impress tonight away to the Seagulls if given an opportunity.
When asked if the 29-year-old could feature at the AMEX, Pochettino said: “Yes, Toby is going to be involved in the squad and then I will decide if he is going to play or not.”
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Sanchez has on the whole impressed during his debut campaign for the club since signing from Ajax last summer, but his lack of express and naivety showed on Saturday.
He was at fault for at least two of City’s goals and could perhaps do with a rest ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Man United.
A strong performance from Alderweireld, assuming he starts, could see him put his name in the hat for a starting spot on Saturday.
Someone else who will be hoping to impress against Brighton tonight is goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris.
The Frenchman has made mistakes in each of Spurs’ last three games, but received strong backing from his manager in Monday’s pre-match press conference.
Pochettino said: “For me, Hugo Lloris is, from the day that we arrive here, improving every season. For me, today he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and for me, there’s no doubt.
“But you know the perception sometimes. You need to respect the people’s perception. I don’t know, because I don’t read.
“For me, Hugo Lloris is doing fantastic, he is one of the best keepers in the world and for me there is no doubt about him.”
Aside from Lloris and Alderweireld, Lucas Moura could also start at Brighton tonight and he will aim to build on his bright cameo appearance from Saturday.
The Brazilian looked lively against City and caused them some brief problems during the end of the Wembley loss and will try to earn more of Pochettino’s trust this evening.
Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.