Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is “heavily in contention” to face Arsenal in the North London derby this afternoon.

That is according to former Spurs and Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge about the prospect of the 31-year-old returning from injury today.

Jose Mourinho confirmed in midweek that the centre-half was in contention to start against the Gunners today having recovered from a muscular injury suffered in the victory over Manchester City last month.

In his absence, Joe Rodon has partnered Eric Dier in the heart of the defence and the pair helped Spurs keep a clean sheet against Chelsea last week.

Alderweireld has made 10 appearances across all competitions this season and started five consecutive Premier League games prior to his injury.

When asked by Football Insider whether he expected the Belgium international to return to the starting eleven if passed fit, Brown said:

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“You know, it’s risk versus reward, it’s how many days you can get in (compared) to what the injuries are.

“He’s going to be heavily in contention. I think in an ideal world, we all want to rest players where possible but the amount of games, you’ve still got to get results.

“Players are used to playing a couple of times a week, players will get their rest when they can.

“It’s the North London derby and there’s none more pivotal than that. They’re on a good run, it’s great signs and standards are just trying to be raised.” 

In other Tottenham news, Kevin Phillips claims Gareth Bale is central to intriguing dressing room reveal.