Three fringe players who could prove crucial for Spurs during season-defining period

Every member of Tottenham Hotspur's squad has to stand up and be counted as the business end of the campaign draws near.

Benjamin Stambouli

The central midfielder who could have joined Fiorentina instead of Tottenham has featured less frequently in recent weeks - thanks to the form of Ryan Mason and return from African Cup of Nations duty of Nabil Bentaleb.

Now, though, it is vital Benjamin Stambouli gives Mauricio Pochettino a selection dilemma with so many crucial games coming up so close together.

Stambouli's tough tackling could be especially useful in Europe and the Frenchman needs to keep Bentaleb, Mason and the rest of Tottenham's midfield on their toes.

Ben Davies

Danny Rose has been enigmatic for Spurs this season - in that he has delivered the occasional masterclass going forward but rarely shown any competence defensively.

Ben Davies was supposed to be the summer signing Pochettino could turn to when Rose went off the boil. But the Welshman is yet to truly shine at White Hart Lane and he needs to start doing so over the next few games.

Should Tottenham want to employ a more cautious system against Fiorentina away - or perhaps even the Capital One Cup final v Chelsea - Davies needs to step up to the mark to offer Pochettino the defensive cover he may require.

Roberto Soldado

While Emmanuel Adebayor is so unpredictable he could end up scoring a hat-trick if he really felt like turning up, the 30-year-old has been Tottenham's most unreliable squad member this term.

As such, if the north London side need cover for Harry Kane up front, Roberto Soldado is the man who needs to provide it. Even if the Spaniard finally leaves White Hart Lane this summer with all parties acknowledging his move hasn't quite worked out, he needs to offer something in the final third for Spurs until then.

Hard work and bad fortune are one thing. But it's time to change the record - Soldado could prove vital if he finds the net even once over the next few weeks.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch