Sky Sports pundit makes bold claim about Tottenham after Europa League draw
By Amir Mir
Charlie Nicholas has claimed that Tottenham are “favourites” to win the Europa League after they were drawn against Gent for the round of 32 stage.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were knocked out of the Champions League after they finished third in Group E, which meant they dropped down to the Europa League.
As a result the north London club were given the task of overcoming Belgian outfit Gent, if they want to qualify for the next round and win the competition overall.
The other English side remaining in the Europa League is Manchester United and they will face Saint Etienne.
Former Arsenal striker Nicholas backed Pochettino’s side to qualify for the next round and explained why the Argentine will take this competition more seriously this time round.
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“It won’t be a big pull for fans to come to Wembley but the incentives are there, especially with Sevilla and the other regular contenders not in the competition,” Nicholas wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“As it stands right now, despite what happened on Sunday, I would tip Spurs as the favourites to win this competition with the way Mauricio Pochettino treats it seriously.
“It was a very different situation when they rested players against Dortmund last year with a title race on their hands. Pochettino will be looking at this as a real opportunity to get back in the Champions League and win his first trophy.”
Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by Jose Mourinho’s United in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon when Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first half strike sealed all three points at Old Trafford.
If Spurs are to lift their first trophy under Pochettino then they must overcome teams such as Borussia Monchengladbach, Roma, Lyon and Ajax.
Spanish giants Sevilla, who have won the competition for the last three seasons, are now in the Champions League.
The final will be held at Stockholm’s Friends Arena on 24 May, with many bookmakers tipping United to win the competition.
In other Tottenham news, Gary Lineker has reacted amusingly on Twitter to Spurs’ Europa League draw against Gent.