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Pochettino to rotate vs. Brighton, could start Lucas, recall Alderweireld

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Expect some changes at the AmEx Community Stadium on Tuesday.

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur will look to rebound from their tough home loss to new Premier League champions Manchester City on Tuesday as they head to Brighton & Hove Albion to take on the Seagulls at the AmEx Community Stadium.

The Brighton match is sandwiched between the City match and the even more important FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United this coming weekend, and Mauricio Pochettino has said that he does plan to rotate his squad to keep his players fresh. That could include a first Premier League start for Lucas Moura, who has been mostly restricted to impact substitute minutes since he joined from PSG this January.

“Maybe it will be [Lucas’] opportunity to play a little bit more. There are a lot of games still to play. Of course now maybe it’s a moment to rotate players that are tired. It’s been a tough season and we need fresh legs to get the objective. Yes, he’s one of the players who is working hard, trying to take the opportunity, maybe tomorrow is a good opportunity for him to play a little bit more.”

In addition, Poch confirmed that want-away central defender Toby Alderweireld will be a part of the match-day squad against Brighton, though he was cagy as to whether Toby will be a starter or a substitute. “Yes, Toby is going to be in the squad,” Poch said. “Tomorrow I will decide whether he’s going to play or not.”

Brighton is managed by former Tottenham player, coach, and two-time caretaker manager Chris Hughton, who has done an admirable job with Albion this season, their first ever in the Premier League. Brighton are currently sitting in 13th place, seven points away from the relegation zone, but they have an extremely tough run-in, with matches at Burnley, home to United, at City, and at Liverpool following tomorrow’s match.

Relegation is still a distinct possibility, and any result against Spurs would be warmly welcomed. Pochettino doesn’t believe that Hughton and Brighton are going to roll over just because Spurs are coming to their stadium.

“Chris is doing a fantastic job and you know very well I admire him. He is a legend for us. He is a legend for Tottenham and the fans. We all love him. My relationship with him start before I arrived at Tottenham. And of course after Tottenham we empathize better. But yes he is doing a fantastic job. He is a great manager and of course Brighton are doing a fantastic season. It is not easy to promote and then to fight to stay in the Premier League, but they are doing a fantastic job. And of course it will be tough, a very tough game.

“They were fantastic every time they face big teams. They were capable to beat Arsenal. Yes it is going to be a very tough game for us. We need the points to get the gap with Chelsea to try to be sure to be in the Champions League next season, but at the same time we need to think that we are going to find a very aggressive team that plays for survival. Of course they play very well there.“

The match kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. in London.