Noel Whelan has tipped Gareth Bale to start for Tottenham against Burnley tonight at the expense of Steven Bergwijn.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, expects Jose Mourinho to hand the Wales international his first Premier League start of the campaign at Turf Moor.
Bale started the 3-0 Europa League win against LASK on Thursday night but has only 18 minutes of league action to his name since returning to Spurs on loan last month.
Jose Mourinho opted for a front line of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn for Tottenham’s last league game – a dramatic 3-3 draw against West Ham.
However, Whelan is adamant that Bale will replace Bergwijn, who joined in January for an initial £25m, for tonight’s fixture.
“I expect Bale to start tonight,” he told Football Insider.
“Jose Mourinho will be assessing him in training, seeing if he is up to scratch after that Europa League game.
“But look, you cannot bring in a player like Gareth Bale and leave him on the bench for too long. They brought him there to improve the squad, create chances and score goals and I am sure he will do.
“I think now is the perfect time to bring him on against Burnley, a team at the bottom, struggling for points. He could be very, very handy tonight because he is a player that can unlock that door.
“I would have thought Bergwijn will make way.
“Son has that link up with Kane and he such a danger going forward. Right now, he is one of the best players in the Premier League so he stays on the field.
“You look at Bergwijn, that is the position where Bale is likely to come in. I would be very surprised if Bale does not start this evening.”
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