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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Tottenham Hotspur

Of course, the 2015-16 Premier League season was all about Leicester City, but the Foxes’ exploits overshadowed Spurs’ best finishing position since the start of the Premier League era. Indeed, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were title contenders with only a few weeks of the season remaining and, despite a bizarre 5-1 defeat by ten-man Newcastle United at St.James’s Park in their final fixture, the Lilywhites have plenty to look forward to next season.

Their third place finish in the Premier League means that they automatically qualify for the Champions League group stage, albeit not as a seeded team, and they have reached a deal to play their Champions League home games at Wembley next season.

Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, Tottenham have won the Football League Cup twice and finished runner-up in the same competition three times but, two years into a five-year contract, Pochettino must surely have his sights set on more prestigious silverware next season.

The former Argentine centre-back has built a team full of energy and desire, with Harry Kane, who scored 28 goals in all competitions in 2015-16, well on his way to establishing himself as England’s first-choice striker. The emergence of Dele Alli who, at the age of 20, set a Premier League record by becoming the youngest midfielder to score 10 goals in a single season, provides further cause for optimism. It’s no secret that Pochettino wants more attacking options, but the club is well positioned to attract the crème de la crème of striking talent.

At the other end of the pitch, the addition of Belgian international Toby Alderweireld to an erstwhile ‘leaky’ back four had the desired effect, with Tottenham conceding 0.92 goals per game, against a league average of 1.35.

None of Pochettino’s first-team players are out of contract so, if he can secure the services of the striker he wants, the 9/1 available with Paddy Power for Spurs’ to win the Premier League might prove a little generous.

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