Michael Owen states his prediction for Tottenham v Apoel Nicosia

Michael Owen states his prediction for Tottenham v Apoel Nicosia

Dele Alli will start Tottenham's Champions League dead rubber against Apoel Nicosia as he bids to play his way back into form even though a clutch of other top players will be rested.

Pochettino has named two academy youngsters in his squad - the midfielder Luke Amos and the striker Kazaiah Sterling - and he is ready to give a first Champions League start to George-Kévin Nkoudou, the winger who has struggled since his transfer from Marseille in the summer of previous year.

The Spaniard is yet to score a goal or provide an assist in a Spurs shirt, but Pochettino has backed him to get back to his best form and could give him another chance against APOEL in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

"I can not complain about the effort or many things, only that for different reasons we have struggled to get good results in the last few games".

Former Tottenham star David Ginola has urged Dele Alli to concentrate on his football and bounce back from his decline in form, after finally resolving his new agent search. "Every game is an opportunity to learn and we're looking forward to Apoel".

One academy player who will not be included is 19-year-old winger Marcus Edwards, who Pochettino compared to Lionel Messi ahead of his first-team debut last season.

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Spurs are all but out of the title race following a run of four league games without a win which has seen them slip to 18 points behind leaders Manchester City.

"No, I'm not anxious because the performances were good", he said.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says his struggling side can thrive on criticism over their patchy form, admitting the team have not yet learned the winning habit of teams such as Real Madrid. "We are frustrated because the results are not good but it's not about the performances".

Alli added: "Obviously I would like to be at my highest level in every single game and every training session but I don't think that's possible".

"We're completely different, we're not in the last stage (of our development)".

"Of course the striker always needs to score", said Pochettino, according to the Evening Standard.

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