TOTTENHAM fans will be on tenterhooks over the fitness of Jan Vertonghen after the defender was left out of the squad to face West Ham.
Spurs face the biggest game of their season next week against a dangerous Ajax in the Champions League semi-final first-leg.
Centre-half Vertonghen will be crucial to stopping his former club’s youthful strikeforce as Tottenham bid to reach their first ever Champions League final.
Reports suggest Vertonghen picked up a knock ahead of West Ham’s visit to North London, with manager Mauricio Pochettino revealing he was left out of the squad as a precaution.
Speaking ahead of kick-off, Pochettino said: “Vertonghen is out of the squad because he finished [the last game] with big fatigue.
“Today would be a massive risk to play with him, that is why he is out of the squad.”
Pochettino made four changes to the side that snuck a 1-0 victory over Brighton on Tuesday.
Eric Dier, Juan Foyth, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies come into the side, with Kyle Walker-Peters left on the bench rather than being promoted to the starting XI.
West Ham made two changes to the side that drew with Leicester – Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop replacing Pablo Zabaleta and Angelo Ogbonna.
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Spurs are look likely to secure Champions League football for next season regardless of the result against Ajax in their last-four clash.
They sit sit third in the Premier League, three points ahead of Chelsea in fourth.
But with English competition for European places more intense than ever, Pochettino and the Spurs faithful know they cannot afford any domestic slips-ups as the season reaches its climax.