By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes

Tottenham have been handed a double defensive boost ahead of Saturday’s Premier League showdown against Liverpool.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Jan Vertonghen is “very close” to a return after two months on the sidelines, while Toby Alderweireld has fully recovered from the illness that forced him out of the Belgium squad.

Alderweireld, who has played every minute of every match of Spurs’ Premier League campaign, pulled out of his country’s friendly clash against Portugal on Tuesday after suffering gastroenteritis.

Speaking on Thursday, Pochettino told the Tottenham website: “Alderweireld was ill but he’s okay. He trained with us Tuesday, Wednesday and today. He is good, he’s fully fit, no issues for Saturday.”

Vertonghen has not played since suffering knee ligament damage against Crystal Palace at the end of January.

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Football Insider revealed earlier this month that the centre-back was targeting a return in Saturday’s pivotal Premier League clash at Anfield, and Pochettino hinted on Thursday at a possible return for the Belgium international by saying he is “very close” to full fitness.

In Vertonghen’s absence, Kevin Wimmer has stepped in to form a solid centre-back partnership with Alderweireld, who has been one of the outstanding players in the Premier League this season.

Spurs play Liverpool at Anfield in a Saturday evening kick-off as they attempt to maintain the pressure on league leaders Leicester.

In other Tottenham injury news, Clinton N’jie is stepping up his rehabilitation after being out since December.