Quick read: Alderweireld must retain place for Burnley clash

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Tottenham Hotspur face a tough visit to Turf Moor to take on Burnley on Saturday in a Premier League encounter. Realistically, Spurs have to win in order to maintain their status of title contenders.

On paper, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be heavy favourites, but Sean Dyche’s team can be extremely hard to beat, especially on their own patch.

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The Clarets are very physical, and with the likes of Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Peter Crouch in their ranks they pose a serious aerial threat in the final third. For that reason, Toby Alderweireld must retain his place in Spurs’ starting XI.

The 29-year-old centre-back started against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last time out, but did not start the previous league outing against Leicester City. Pochettino has rotated his defence frequently recently and having huge games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Dortmund on the horizon – along with the return to fitness of Danny Rose, which could allow Jan Vertonghen to resume his favoured central berth – could tempt the manager into resting Alderweireld against Burnley.

That would be a mistake though, as the Belgian’s experience and aerial prowess make him better suited to dealing with this specific opposition than the likes of Juan Foyth or Davinson Sanchez. Without him, Spurs will struggle.