By Tony Hughes
Mauricio Pochettino will rest Hugo Lloris from Tottenham’s League Cup showdown against Liverpool on Tuesday because he is “not a machine”.
Pochettino is wary of the Spurs captain burning out and has decided to give him a breather for the fourth-round clash at Anfield, when Michel Vorm will start in goal.
Lloris has been a key member of the meanest rearguard in the Premier League this season, with Pochettino’s side conceding just four goals from nine matches in the competition.
They also drew 0-0 in the Champions League away to Bayer Leverkusen last Tuesday due in large part to a magnificent display from Lloris in goal.
The Frenchman’s status was further emphasised on Monday when he was the only Tottenham player named in the 30-man Ballon D’Or shortlist.
Lloris will be one of a number of senior Tottenham players who will not be involved against Liverpool.
Pochettino confirmed that Michel Vorm, excellent in the 1-1 league meeting between the two sides at White Hart Lane in August, will start instead of Lloris in goal, and that Georges-Kevin Nkoudou could make his first start.
“It’s true, tomorrow we’ll play Michel Vorm,” he said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “I can confirm that to you. Hugo is not a machine, he’s one of the best, but not a machine.
“We have very good goalkeepers like Hugo, Michel, Pau Lopez and the youngsters too and tomorrow is a very good opportunity for Michel because he deserves to play.”
Liverpool currently sit third in the Premier League table, a point and two places better off than Tottenham.
Both clubs are expected to play weakened line-ups for the fourth-round clash at Anfield but Pochettino has no doubts about the capabilities of the fringe men that Jurgen Klopp can call upon.
“They have a very strong squad,” Pochettino said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “If (Klopp) plays Mignolet, he’s an international goalkeeper who has only been on the bench in the last few games.
“If he doesn’t play Firmino, he can play Sturridge. If not Coutinho, maybe Wijnaldum. If not Henderson because he’s suspended, he can play Leiva.”
In other Tottenham news, Pochettino has revealed a Spurs playmaker will be sidelined until nearly Christmas.