Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has slammed Dele Alli for his performance in Tottenham’s North London derby win against Arsenal on Saturday, but believes he should be able to improve on that against Juventus on Tuesday night.
Alli, 21, has been widely criticised for his displays this season and Nicholas was quick to point out that he was not impressed by the player at the weekend.
However with a testing clash against Juventus in the Champions League knock-out rounds on Tuesday, ex-Arsenal star Nicholas has backed Alli to find his form against the Italian giants.
“Juventus will be very different to Arsenal and their defence will be very physical with Harry Kane. Dele Alli wasn’t great again but he has raised his game in Europe and they need him to step up again in games like this one,” he said on the Sky Sports website.
Nicholas also offered his prediction on the game against Juve, but he does not believe that Spurs will be able to walk away from the Allianz Stadium with a win in the first leg.
However the Sky pundit has backed Mauricio Pochettino’s side to get an away goal, which could prove pivotal in the second leg at Wembley, by saying that Juve will win 2-1.
“If Spurs play like they did in the first half against Arsenal, then they’ll struggle but if they play like the second half, then they could get something here,” he added.
“With Toby Alderweireld out, I’m going for a player who frustrates me at times but often scores without playing well, Gonzalo Higuain, as Davinson Sanchez is a good athlete but has a few mistakes in him.”
Tottenham were outstanding in the group stages before Christmas, earning wins against Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia to top a very difficult group.
The 3-1 win against Real was no doubt a real highlight of Spurs’ history in European competition, and fans will be praying that their stars can replicate that performance in Turin on Tuesday.
In other Tottenham news, legend Graham Roberts has claimed that this Spurs star will sign a new contract.