Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Harry Winks could start Tuesday night's (26 September) Champions League fixture against APOEL FC, with Tottenham Hotspur notably short on midfielders for their midweek trip to Cyprus.

Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele are currently sidelined with knee and ankle injuries respectively, while Dele Alli is due to serve the second game of his three-match European suspension. Christian Eriksen is also battling an unspecified illness and has not travelled.

Such an extensive list of absentees is likely to open the door of opportunity to Winks, whose only start so far this term came in the Carabao Cup third-round victory over Barnsley.

The 21-year-old academy graduate, who missed the end of last season with ankle ligament damage, has appeared as a second-half substitute in Premier League matches against Newcastle United, Burnley, Everton and West Ham United.

He did not get off the bench during the Champions League Group H opener against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Asked during his pre-match press conference if Winks could feature from the off in Nicosia, Pochettino told reporters: "Yes maybe. Yes maybe he can start.

"We need to decide today after Saturday it was a very tough game against West Ham and this is the second day of recovery and we cannot do too much here today, only try to assess everyone and pick the best starting XI for tomorrow to be fresh and try to provide good energy to the team. But it's one possibility for tomorrow for him to start from the beginning."

With Jan Vertonghen also banned after his late sending off in the 3-1 win over Dortmund and long-term casualties Danny Rose and Erik Lamela still out, Tottenham will be without seven senior players against reigning Cypriot champions APOEL. However, rather than ruing his luck, Pochettino believes the game presents a chance for Spurs to demonstrate the strength of their squad.

"First of all we don't have too many injuries," he said. "Only two suspended in Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen. Then Christian Eriksen was ill last night. He started to feel bad. That is why he stayed in London. But then all the news that you know. It is not an excuse to have some players out of the squad. I think we have a strong squad and tomorrow is a good opportunity to show that we are strong."

The Argentine also backed his team to find a way of playing successfully without the services of Danish playmaker Eriksen, an integral member of their attacking unit who netted in the 3-2 London derby win at West Ham on Saturday.

He added: "Of course Christian in the last few seasons has been a very important player for us. It's true that we will miss him, but you know, you need to move on. Tomorrow we need to find a way to play and to perform as well and try to win the game.

"He's ill and he's staying in London. Only we need to trust the players who will use the position of his to play as well as him. I am not a manager who cries because some players are not in the squad or cannot play. It's about the team, the squad, the collective effort. I think we have a very strong squad to try to win the game tomorrow."

Harry Winks
Harry Winks could be the main beneficiary of Tottenham's midfield woes in Cyprus