By Richard Parks
Paulo Dybala has been ruled out of Tottenham’s Champions League clash against Juventus on Tuesday night, according to a report.
The Times claim that the brilliant Argentine attacker has not recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained six weeks in what amounts to a huge blow for the hosts in Turin.
It is said that, in the absence of Dybala, the Italian champions are set to field a front three of Mario Mandzukic, Gonzalo Higuain and Douglas Costa against Spurs in the first leg clash.
“Dybala is a great player, he is Argentinian,” Pochettino said, as quoted by the Times. “And, of course, the likes of Juventus when you play them is a little bit different with and without Dybala. Because players like Neymar, like [Lionel] Messi, like Cristiano [Ronaldo], they have the ability to give to the team different options.
“It is difficult for Juventus because he is a very, very good player. Of course we have watched many, many games with and without Dybala, but it is about the quality of the players on the pitch.
“We can watch every single game, but the experience of the team and the squad that Juventus have, we need to reach the same level with motivation, not with the same experience, but with the energy and the desire to compete.”
Dybala has been an instrumental player in Juve’s dominance of the Italian league and their progress in the Champions League – they were beaten finalists last May – in recent seasons.
Since joining from Palermo in the summer of 2015 for £30million, the 24-year-old has scored 59 goals and supplied 23 assists from 122 appearances.
In the current season, the 12-times Argentina international has scored 17 goals and supplied five assists from 28 matches.