Alderweireld Premier League return against Palace uncertain, says Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino faced the media today ahead of the Premier League's return this weekend.

According to the Argentine, defender Toby Alderweireld is potentially facing another setback after pulling out of training yesterday.

Fortunately for the Spurs boss, this remains his only fresh injury concern. A positive, as he expects a "big battle" this Sunday.

Alderweireld Premier League return delayed?

Alderweireld returned to the Spurs starting lineup in their disappointing 2-2 draw last weekend away to League One strugglers Rochdale. However, the Belgian appears to be still suffering from the hamstring injury he got in Spurs' 3-1 triumph over Real Madrid last November.

The defender's contract negotiations with Spurs continue to be a hot topic. Despite questions from the media, he could "say nothing about that."

Pochettino stated: "I am not involved in negotiations. I never talk about rumours, what the media say or what happens around the club. It's not my job."

Whether Alderweireld will return this weekend, will be down to what happens this Saturday.

He said: "We are going to assess him tomorrow and until tomorrow we cannot decide nothing, if it's possible to be, first of all to be training and second to be available to play."

Davinson Sánchez and Jan Vertonghen will be likely to continue their defensive partnership if the tests are unsuccessful.

Dembele a 'genius of football'

Where one Belgian is struggling, another is flourishing in North London. Moussa Dembele has recently earned a multitude of praise from the football world. He was sensational in Tottenham's historic European comeback against Juventus just a week ago.

A display nothing short of world class, and his manager thinks it's something he's capable of doing on a consistent basis.

Pochettino said: " word to describe him as a genius of football... I put him next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, Okocha - players that I was lucky to play with."

He went on to say that he "deserves all the prais that people are giving him" and that the Belgian midfielder is "one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football."

Spurs' big battle

With the pit of the Premier League table looking tighter than ever, Crystal Palace will be fighting for a win towards their survival. 

Poch is more than aware of the test his side will be facing on Sunday, saying: "For me it will be a big battle. Roy and his staff are doing a fantastic job."

Losing their opening seven games left the Eagles as everyone's favourites to end their five-year absence from the Championship. An impressive revival, kickstarted by the appointment of Roy Hodgson and a surprise 2-1 win against champions Chelsea, has them currently sitting in 15th - seven points above 20th-placed West Brom.

He continued: "We need to match them in areas of motivation, ready to fight and then of course try to deliver our way and our game. Of course it will be very tough."

With the fight for a top-four place looking just as competitive as the relegation fight, the Spurs boss is aware of the significance of winning every game possible.

He finished off his statement: "The idea is to win, the idea is to fight, to be ready. The three points are massive to us."

Tottenham currently lie in fifth-place. Only one point seperates them and fourth-placed Chelsea, who face a tough test away to Manchester United on the same day. If their London rivals fall anything short of a win, three points would take Spurs into the top four.