Football

Spurs are the new Leicester

Pochettino says his side will be the neutrals' favourites when they take on leaders Chelsea

EPL
TOTTENHAM CHELSEA

Mauricio Pochettino believes the rest of the Premier League will be cheering on Tottenham Hotspur when they try to bring down Chelsea on Thursday morning (Singapore time).

Harry Kane and Dele Alli each scored twice as Spurs hammered Watford 4-1 on New Year's Day to move into the top four for the first time since October.

Younes Kaboul added a late consolation for the Hornets.

The victory puts Tottenham 10 points behind Chelsea ahead of their crunch meeting at White Hart Lane, where the visitors will be chasing a record-breaking 14th consecutive Premier League win.

Pochettino's men will need no added motivation to prevent the Blues achieving the feat, particularly as it was at Stamford Bridge that their own title challenge came to an end last season.

NOT FAVOURITES

Chelsea held Spurs to a 2-2 draw in May, a result that completed Leicester City's fairy-tale triumph, but Pochettino feels his team will not be favourites this time around.

"Maybe we will feel how Leicester felt last season, when all the teams were with them and against us. Maybe now we are Leicester," Pochettino said.

Like Chelsea, Spurs are in a rich vein of form themselves, having won six out of their last seven matches, scoring 13 goals in their last four.

"Chelsea arrive in very good shape - us too after the last few games," Pochettino said.

"It will be a very tough game and a great opportunity for us to try to stop them and try to reduce the gap.

"I think it's important for us and for the Premier League to try to win and try to stop them and reduce the gap."

Tottenham were three up after 41 minutes at Vicarage Road as Kane hit his 11th and 12th goals of the campaign before Alli found the net either side of the interval.

Together, Kane and Alli either scored or assisted 50 goals for Spurs in the league last season and the pair looked back to their brilliant best against a below-par Hornets defence.

Kane has now scored 59 goals in 100 Premier League games - the same number as Thierry Henry had at this stage at Arsenal - and he is keen to add to that tally against Chelsea.

MASSIVE MATCH

Asked how big the game against the Blues will be, the 23-year-old said: "It is massive. We know that, everyone knows that. There's going to be a fantastic atmosphere.

"We are looking forward to it. We just need to go out there and beat Chelsea and stop their form - then hopefully, they will drop a few more points."

Former Blues midfielder Ray Wilkins said that the Premier League needs Tottenham to beat Chelsea to keep the title race open.

"As far as the Premier League is concerned and I'm a Chelsea fan, but we need Tottenham to beat Chelsea to keep it alive because at the moment, they are absolutely outstanding," Wilkins told Sky Sports.

"When you have the ball, that is when they are at their most dangerous because as soon as you lose it, the pace they have in Willian is superb.

"Eden Hazard is playing out of his skin again and, with the animal up front in Diego Costa, he is a real throwback.

"He is brutal when he gets a hold of the centre halves. Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi couldn't cope with him yesterday because he is so strong and powerful.

"He's not the greatest technician, but he is so strong. The pace on the counter-attack is quite scary." - WIRE SERVICES

mauricio pochettinotottenham hotspurCHELSEA (EPL)