Mousa Dembele is expected to be fit for the decisive second leg of Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League last-16 meeting with Juventus, though defenders Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier will both miss the eagerly-anticipated clash.

Spurs welcome the reigning Serie A champions to Wembley Stadium on Wednesday [7 March] with their knockout tie finely-poised at 2-2 following an eventful game in Turin last month that saw the dominant Premier League side fall two goals behind before Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen struck either side of a missed Gonzalo Higuain penalty to clinch a deserved draw.

Dembele's status for the return fixture did initially appear to be in question after he was seen limping following a heavy tackle during the second half of Saturday's [3 March] 2-0 top-flight defeat of Huddersfield Town and, per, signalled to the bench that he needed to be substituted.

The Belgian international continued for approximately 15 minutes before being replaced by Moussa Sissoko.

Pochettino did not reference Dembele specifically when he outlined the need to assess his players and "see if anything's wrong" in advance of the visit of Juventus and he was not quizzed on team news during a pre-match press conference held on Tuesday [6 March] afternoon.

However, the official Tottenham Twitter account listed only Alderweireld and Aurier as confirmed absentees for that match, with the former still nursing another hamstring problem and the latter suspended after collecting his third European yellow card of the season on a difficult night in northern Italy.


Dembele did take part in training at Hotspur Way earlier today and appeared to allay any lingering fitness concerns during an interview with The Telegraph published on Monday [5 March] night.

"I feel good, to be honest," he said. "I've played a lot of games, and automatically, if I play a lot of games, I feel fitter, much stronger, and good."

Son Heung-Min was introduced as a late substitute in the first leg and will harbour hopes of retaining his place in the starting XI tomorrow night after notching successive braces against Rochdale and Huddersfield.

Asked by reporters what the South Korean forward had to do in order to start, Pochettino responded coyly: "It is that his manager picks him in the starting XI, he does not need to do much, he needs to wait and see if he is in the starting XI."

Pochettino's press conference was preceded by an open training session in front of the media, at the end of which the manager led away left-back Danny Rose for a one-on-one talk away from prying eyes.

The Argentine would not divulge the topic of such a seemingly passionate discussion, though insisted it was part of his usual approach on the training ground.

"It is a private conversation, it is a coincidence you saw me it is normal way to approach my players," he said, per the Evening Standard. "Animated? Yes. Because we have passion, maybe you don't see it but we are people with passion."

Mousa Dembele
Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele received praise for his accomplished first-leg performance against Juventus in Turin MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images