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Arsenal great Merson backs Gent to hold Spurs

Arsenal great Charlie Nicholas is backing Belgian side Gent to hold Tottenham Hotspur to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.

The Sky Sports pundit also thinks that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino will rest the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane for the game in Belgium.

He writes in his column for Sky Sports: "Suddenly a little spanner has been thrown into the works for Spurs, who everybody was saying were genuine contenders, and they are now facing their critics after a really poor performance at Liverpool.

"Now Mauricio Pochettino has to decide what his priorities are and how to shuffle his pack with the Europa League sandwiching the FA Cup at the weekend.

"I would imagine he will make a point about how unhappy he is, with Eric Dier in particular extremely poor at centre-back once again against Liverpool.

"I know Victor Wanyama is the main holding midfielder but he might want to play them as a pair for a bit more protection and bring Kevin Wimmer in at centre-back until Jan Vertonghen returns.

"I would think Pochettino will only make two or three changes here but I'd expect Dele Alli and Harry Kane to get a rest, with Vincent Janssen coming in."

Vyom Chaudhary
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Vyom Chaudhary

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