Tottenham Hotspur have suffered a blow ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with London rivals Chelsea, as Sky Sports report key defender Toby Alderweireld will not be fit enough to feature.

The Belgium international is a critical member of Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI but has been on the sidelines for the last month after picking up a knee injury in the game against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

There had been hope among the travelling support that Alderweireld would be fit enough to make a return at Stamford Bridge, but it appears that the North London side will have to travel to the Premier League leaders without the former Ajax enforcer.

Spurs crashed out of the Champions League in midweek after a defeat away to Monaco, with some of the defending a real concern for Pochettino.

With Chelsea in rampant form and having won their last six games on the bounce, Tottenham will need to be much-improved if they are to get anything from the game.

Alderweireld’s continued absence will mean a continuation of Eric Dier playing in defence, while Pochettino will be tempted to field three centre-halves – like he did away to Arsenal last month.

Spurs will also be without Danny Rose, who is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the win over West Ham last weekend.

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