Tottenham could hand Kyle Walker-Peters start in crucial Barcelona clash
Mauricio Pochettino announced he will pit 21-year-old right-back Kyle Walker-Peters against Barcelona as Tottenham gear up for Tuesday's decisive Champions League showdown.
Spurs will probably need to win at the Nou Camp to secure the runners-up spot in Group B and progress to the knockout stages, given that third-placed Inter Milan are level with them on points and host bottom-side PSV Eindhoven.
They have had to travel without their top two right-backs, Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier, who are both injured.
However, Pochettino has stressed his faith in academy graduate Walker-Peters, who has only started one match this season but signed a new contract on Monday, which will run until 2023.
"I think Kyle Walker-Peters has the option to play," Pochettino told a news conference in Barcelona. "I want to remind you that 18 months ago he won the Under-20 World Cup in Korea, and the quality is unbelievable.
"Young players always need the trust and need to play, and to play in a difficult place like the Nou Camp will make him stronger than before. We don't have doubts that he can perform.
"I'm so happy this season to have three very good players in that position -- three with very different qualities -- and he has the quality to play and perform.
"He needs to feel free. He is a very relaxed player and person and the most important thing is we believe in him. Whatever happens tomorrow happens. We're going to be happy and it's going to be a massive success for him and for the team, for sure."
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde could boost Tottenham's chances of a victory by resting some of his key men, given his side have already secured top spot in the group. But Pochettino has warned his players that the Catalans have great strength in depth.
"It's important to understand that Barcelona have an unbelievable squad and all the players that are in Barcelona are here because they deserve to be," he said.
"Of course it's difficult to fight for a place in the starting XI with players like Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, but players who maybe don't play too much and tomorrow have the possibility to play, they're going to try to show that they deserve to play.
"That's why the most important thing for us is to try to do our job and never think what Barcelona are going to do.
"We need to think that we will do something important tomorrow. It's a massive game. You must give your best and you need to prepare not only physically and tactically but mentally."
Pochettino admits he will be keeping an ear out for news from Inter Milan's clash with PSV.
"Of course, I won't lie. It's normal that we're going to, during the game, know what's going on over there," he said.
"It's so important to know what's happening there but focus on doing our job here."
Tottenham have a serious task ahead as they bid to become the first visitors to beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League since September 2013.
There was also a light-hearted moment during Pochettino's news conference when he was informed that former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp had been crowned the winner of the UK TV series "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!"
"He won? Congratulations to Harry," said Pochettino. "See, one trophy for us!"