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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says it is “painful” that Juan Foyth is ineligible to play in their must-win Champions League game with Inter Milan.
The 20-year-old was not named in Spurs’ squad for the competition but has impressed during an injury crisis.
“It’s a mistake we made, that at this level of football we cannot repeat,” Pochettino said.
The Argentina defender has started Spurs’ last three games in the absence of Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen.
However, he was omitted from the 25-man Champions League squad because the club has 20 ‘non-locally trained’ players in their squad and are only allowed to name 17.
“For different reasons we need to find solutions before the start of the season,” he added.
“I told you we need English players, but it was impossible. Of course now that is the problem and it’s so painful to have players out of the list.
“Now we’re going to finish [the group stage] and then we hope in March we can do a new list and include him in the list for the Champions League.”
Tottenham are third in Group B, three points behind Inter Milan, and must beat the Italians to keep their qualification hopes alive before heading to Barcelona in their final game.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris returns for Tottenham after serving a suspension following his red card at PSV Eindhoven last month.
With Foyth unavailable, Vertonghen, who returned as a substitute against Chelsea on Saturday, is in contention to start.
Danny Rose also comes into the Tottenham squad after recovering from a groin injury that has kept him out since the start of October.
But Kieran Trippier (groin), Sanchez (hamstring), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Victor Wanyama (knee) all remain out.
‘Chance of miracle qualification for Spurs’
Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Gracenote
“After taking one point from their opening three Champions League matches, Tottenham gave themselves the chance of a ‘miracle’ qualification for the Champions League knockout phase with victory over PSV three weeks ago.
“Spurs’ chances of reaching the last 16 only improved from 15% to 19% according to the Euro Club Index with that victory over the Dutch champions as two wins in the last two matches are still likely to be required.
“Tottenham probably need to beat Inter this week by a better scoreline than the 2-1 win the Italian team achieved in September as, even with victory in Barcelona, Tottenham may well need to win the head-to-head tiebreaker against Inter to progress.”
- Tottenham have won both of their previous home matches against Inter – 3-1 in the 2010-11 Champions League and 3-0 in the 2012-13 Europa League.
- Inter have never kept a clean sheet in their five previous meetings with Spurs in all comps, though they’ve only failed to score once (W3, D0, L2).
- The home side has won all five previous meetings between Tottenham and Inter Milan (two for Tottenham, three for Inter).
- Defeat for Tottenham will see them eliminated from the Champions League. They’ve lost two of their last three home games in the competition.
- Six of Tottenham’s seven Champions League goals this season have been scored in the second half of games.
- Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored 13 goals and assisted a further two in his 14 Champions League appearances. He’s scored 26% of Tottenham’s total goals in the competition (13/50).
- Son Heung-min has played more Champions League games than any other Tottenham player (17). He’s not scored in his last four games in the competition – he’s never gone five in a row without a goal for Spurs.
- This will be Inter’s first competitive match at Wembley Stadium. Italian sides have won four of their five visits to the ground (Milan v Benfica 1963 European Cup final, Parma v Royal Antwerp 1993 Cup Winners’ Cup final, Fiorentina v Arsenal 1999-00 Champions League and Juventus v Spurs 2017-18 Champions League).
- Three of Inter’s five Champions League goals this season have been scored in the 85th minute or later, including both against Tottenham on matchday one.
- If Inter avoid defeat they’ll be in the knockout stages of the Champions League. They’ve only gone out at the group stages in one of their previous 11 campaigns in the competition (2003-04).
- Inter’s Mauro Icardi has scored in five of his last six matches in European competition (5 goals in total), including in three of his four Champions League matches.