By Matthew Rose

Charlie Nicholas has tipped both Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City to slip up in their quest to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage this week.

The pundit believes Spurs, who are playing their home fixtures at Wembley in the competition, will only manage a 1-1 draw when they entertain Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

“Another draw isn’t much help for them,” the 54-year-old wrote in his Sky Sports column.

“You want to be going into the last two games in a qualification position because they’ve got a tough trip to Monaco next.

“They can’t be worrying about the North London derby right now because this is a huge game, but I would be amazed if Mauricio Pochettino was to throw [Harry] Kane straight in from the start. You can’t rush players back after six weeks out.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see him coming off the bench to save Spurs, who could be set for another stalemate.”

Kane, who won the Golden Boot last year, will be in action on the same night as his closest rival to the prize and international teammate Jamie Vardy.
The former Fleetwood Town man hasn’t hit the dizzy heights of last season – understandably so – but Leicester are enjoying a dream run in the Champions League.

The 1-0 win against Copenhagen last time out made Claudio Ranieri’s side the only English team in history to win their first three games in the competition.

Nicholas, though, believes that run is about to come to a grinding halt at the hands of the Danish champions, tipping a 2-1 defeat for the Foxes.

“They’re in a great position and a draw would still leave them in total control,” acknowledged the former Arsenal striker.

“I know they want a win so they can relax but these games are awkward.

“I’ve done a lot of games like this, where you arrive at tricky little grounds with tight little pitches and you don’t really feel the glamour of being in the Champions League.

“This is a must-win for Copenhagen and I understand why Sky Bet make them favourites. I think they’ll get the win to blow this group wide open.”

Both sides will be looking to prove the Gillette Soccer Saturday panelist wrong and grab crucial victories on what will be a pivotal match day in the competition.


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