Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 June 2017

Pochettino hopes Premier League teams cheer for Spurs when they take on Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes everyone will be cheering for his side against Chelsea after a comfortable win at Watford
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes everyone will be cheering for his side against Chelsea after a comfortable win at Watford

Mauricio Pochettino believes the rest of the Premier League will be cheering on Tottenham when they try to bring down Chelsea on Wednesday.

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.

Chelsea held Spurs to a 2-2 draw, a result that completed Leicester's fairytale triumph, but Pochettino feels his team will be the favoured ones this time around.

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

Tottenham certainly arrive 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.

"It's important, 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.

"I think it was one of the best performances so far. It was nearly the perfect game," Pochettino said.

"The shame was we conceded a goal in the last minute but there were a lot of positive things.

"I am very happy and we now have two days to prepare in a better way for the game against Chelsea."

Watford, meanwhile, slip to 13th in the table after winning only one of their last seven matches.

Their slump, however, has not been helped by a number of key absentees, with as many as 10 first-team players missing against Tottenham.

Walter Mazzarri was also forced to make a last-minute change after Camilo Zuniga felt pain in his ankle during the warm-up and had to be replaced by Odion Ighalo.

"We cannot give the fault to anyone and it's just unlucky," Mazzarri said.

"When a team that is growing a lot during the season then out of nowhere you start missing five starting XI players, I don't want to do any other comparisons with other teams, but if you do take away these very important members of the team to any other side in the Premier League they would also be in big difficulty."

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