Mauricio Pochettio was embarrassed after thumping turf against Stoke

By London correspondent Tony Hughes

Ben Davies has been axed from the Tottenham team on Sunday because it would have been “difficult” for him to play three games in a row.

That is the verdict of Mauricio Pochettino as he revealed why he had reshuffled the Spurs back line for the Premier League home clash against Sunderland.

Tottenham have made three changes from the side that lost 2-1 to Monaco in the Champions League in midweek, with Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko replacing Davies, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela in the starting XI.

In a major reshuffle, Eric Dier has dropped back from midfield to partner Toby Alderweireld in central defence, while Jan Vertonghen has pushed across to fill in at left-back.

There is no place for Davies, even though first-choice left-back Danny Rose is unavailable due to injury.

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“With Rose’s injury Ben Davies would’ve played three games in a row and that’s always difficult,” said Pochettino, as quoted by the official Tottenham Twitter account.

“So we need to rotate and it’s for that reason we move Eric Dier alongside Toby and Jan is used to playing full-back for Belgium”

However, Pochettino’s explanation failures to shed any light on why Davies has missed out but Alderweireld, Vertonghen and Kyle Walker will all start their third consecutive match against Sunderland.

In other Tottenham team news, a first-team regular fears he will be frozen out by Pochettino at White Hart Lane.