Spurs look to make Wembley feel like home again with APOEL visiting in the Champions League
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Harry Winks previews Tottenham Hotspur’s final Group H match and I take a look at Dele Alli’s form and why he might hit top gear again soon
Harry Winks insists there is pressure on Tottenham Hotspur going into tonight’s dead rubber with APOEL in Group H of the Champions League.
Spurs have already secured top spot ahead of Real Madrid and Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he’ll rest several of his star players.
But Winks believes the current run the club finds itself on – one victory from their last five games – means they need a positive result this evening.
He said: “I certainly wouldn’t say the pressure is off. We’ve got a lot of pressure on us at the moment to get results, and rightly so.
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“We’re going to go into that game and try to get another win to get as many points as possible in our Champions League group and hopefully kick start a winning run again.”
A victory over the Cypriot side may help some confidence return to the Tottenham ranks while also show the fringe players can step up if needed.
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Tonight could also be a good practise ahead of two upcoming Premier League games at Wembley.
Stoke City are the visitors to the national stadium on Saturday before Brighton & Hove Albion come to Brent next Wednesday.
APOEL, the Potters and the Seagulls are all likely to be very defensive and if Spurs can break down their opponents this evening, it should boost them ahead of two more stern tests in the league.
But, after failing to find a way past West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City and Burnley already this season at home, getting a win tonight will be easier said than done!
Yet if Tottenham are to return to winning ways, you imagine Dele Alli will be at the heart of it.
The England international has struggled for consistency this term, but will start tonight after Pochettino confirmed so in yesterday’s press conference.
While Alli will concede he has not been at his best in recent months, the seven goals he has scored so far for his club are over double what he managed at this stage last season.
Before netting in Tottenham’s 3-1 win over CSKA Moscow on December 7 last year, the 21-year-old had only found the net three times for the Lilywhites.
A strong performance in Spurs’ final group game last year paved the way for a superb end to December and start to January for Alli.
So, don’t be surprised if he starts to hit top gear again soon with this evening the perfect chance for him and Tottenham to build some much-needed momentum.
Additional reporting by Ben Pearce.