By London correspondent Tony Hughes

Tottenham are on the brink of something special, according to TV pundit Danny Higginbotham.

Spurs started the weekend fourth in the Premier League and just five points behind leaders Arsenal as they target a potential title challenge.

Former Manchester United, Southampton and Stoke defender Higginbotham is convinced that Mauricio Pochettino’s team are the real deal.

“They’re excellent – technically and tactically: incredibly well-balanced and potentially on the brink of being something very, very big in British football,” wrote Higginbotham in his Independent column.

“It all begins with the defence. So often in years gone by that’s been their Achilles’ heel but the picture’s very much changed now. They’ve the best defence in the Premier League this season: no side has conceded fewer than them.

“And with all of those mechanics working so well at the back of the team – a little-changed side, week by week, incidentally – the more advanced players like Harry Kane, Mousa Dembélé and Dele Alli have the confidence to know that they can keep that high line, get among the opposition and not let them play.”

Main man: Tottenham need to wrap Harry Kane in cotton wool

Main man: Tottenham need to wrap Harry Kane in cotton wool

Sky TV pundit Higginbotham is convinced that the north Londoners have the potential to improve if they hold on to their key players.

He said: “Spurs certainly have the youngest squad. The average age of the starting XI this season is younger than any other side’s, at 24 years and 302 days.

“So as long as they keep those players together – with the club’s ability to retain manager Mauricio Pochettino crucial in that respect – they can only get better and better.”

Tottenham make the short journey to Crystal Palace hoping for the victory that will lift their points tally to 42 and put pressure on Arsenal, Leicester and Manchester City above them.