By Coral Barry
Tottenham have been hit with a potential centre-back injury crisis after Toby Alderweireld joined Jan Vertonghen and Cameron Carter-Vickers on the sidelines ahead of the Liverpool showdown.
Alderweireld pulled out of the Belgium squad that faces Portugal on Tuesday because of illness and joins the growing list of Tottenham defenders that could miss the crucial Premier League clash on Saturday.
Tottenham are five points behind league leaders Leicester and cannot afford to slip up against Liverpool at Anfield.
Vertonghen has been missing since the end of January after picking up knee ligament damage against Crystal Palace, but Football Insider revealed that the Belgium was targeting the Liverpool showdown as his comeback date.
The 28-year-old was in outstanding form before his injury, but his replacement Kevin Wimmer and the excellent Alderweireld have combined to solid effect.
Spurs face an anxious wait to discover if Alderweireld will recover from his set-back as the possibility grows that Tottenham could head to Anfield without either of their first-choice centre-backs.
One player Tottenham cannot call on to step into the back four is emerging star Carter-Vickers, who withdrew from his international duties with USA last week.
The promising 18-year-old, who has been regularly named in the matchday squad in recent months, is set to miss the rest of the season after being unable to throw off a persistent back injury.
Tottenham head to Liverpool knowing that anything other than a win would greatly diminish their chances of claiming their first top-flight title since 1961.
In other Tottenham news, Martin Keown has paid tribute to Tottenham star and shares his pre-season prediction.