By Harvey Byrne
Chris Waddle has made the astonishing prediction that Tottenham will win the Premier League title this season.
The former Tottenham winger turned BBC Sport pundit believes that the north London club will be hungrier heading into the new season after their end of season collapse three months ago.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side finished below fierce rivals Arsenal to end 2015-16 in third position – their highest league finish in 20 years – after their form nosedived in the final weeks of the campaign and Waddle believes that the squad will be spurred on from last season’s agonising end.
Most pundits have predicted that the main title challengers are Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, with all three clubs to be revitalised by their marquee managerial arrivals.
Even Spurs’ star man Christian Eriksen has admitted that a top-four finish is the best his team can hope for but Waddle has gone against the grain by predicting an against-the-odds triumph for the north Londoners.
“A lot of people associate me with Spurs because I played there and will be thinking I am just favouring my old club but I think they will be stronger for what happened last season,” said Waddle as quoted by the BBC pundits season prediction page.
“They came very close and just blew up at the end but they have a lot of young players who will have learned a lot from that and will also be hungry to make amends, not just for missing out on the title but also finishing below Arsenal.
“I know City have got Guardiola and United have got Mourinho but they are both at new clubs – at Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino has got a settled squad who have played under him for two seasons already.”
The 55-year-old turned out for Spurs 178 times during his four-year stay at the club and he was the only BBC Sport pundit to predict Tottenham to win the title.
Two other former Spurs players made predictions with Jermaine Jenas predicting the White Hart Lane club to finish in second, while Danny Murphy didn’t include Pochettino’s side in his top four.
Former Arsenal star Martin Keown predicted Tottenham to finish in fourth place, although behind the Gunners in third place.
Pochettino leads his side into their new campaign against Everton on Saturday at Goodison Park and the north London side will also be competing with Europe’s elite in the Champions League.
In other Tottenham team news, Spurs released their official 2016-17 squad number list on Friday afternoon and there were some notable changes.