Spurs the only focus for Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino is focused on his own job and is not concerning himself about what might happen next season.

Ahead of a Tuesday evening Premier League trip to Brighton, Pochettino was asked if he was worried that champions Manchester City could move further ahead of the chasing pack next term, having wrapped up the title with five games to play.

He told reporters: "I am not concerned. Yes, of course, if they invest money and bring in players that can improve their squad, of course they are sure to compete to be the best team in the Premier League again.

"Today my concern is to try to win on Tuesday, after that I am not thinking about what Man City is going to do. It is nothing to worry about, because it is still so far until next season."

Meanwhile, Pochettino also confirmed that he will rest a number of senior players for the clash with the Seagulls, with one eye on the FA Cup semi-final against

That seems likely to mean a major role for January signing Lucas Moura, who has yet to start a league game since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain on transfer deadline day.

Central defender Toby Alderweireld also looks set to be involved, although Pochettino was non-committal on whether that would be as a starter or a substitute.

He added: "Yes, Toby is going to be in the squad. Tomorrow I will decide whether he's going to play or not."

Having won 2-0 against Albion at Wembley earlier this season, Spurs are 1/2 to claim all three points on Tuesday evening and are 6/5 to keep a clean sheet, with Fernando Llorente available at 10/11 to score at any time.

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Tomkins values Zaha’s influence

Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins says his side are lucky to have Wilfried Zaha among their ranks, following a crucial 3-2 Premier League win over Brighton.

The Eagles have not gained a single league point from any game in which Zaha has not taken part this season, an issue which was highlighted when the Ivory Coast international was recently sidelined by a knee injury.

However, with Zaha back in the fold, Palace have earned four points from their last two games, with the 25-year-old scoring twice in the victory over the Seagulls on Saturday which lifted the Londoners six points clear of the drop zone.

And Tomkins is well aware of just how important Zaha is to the overall play of his side, who are back in action next Saturday when they head to Vicarage Road to take on Watford.

He told the Evening Standard: "Wilf is Wilf, he turns games on his own. He's massively important to the team and he showed that again on Saturday – we are fortunate to have him.

"He does not shy away from running at defenders. He is a defender's worst nightmare at times, when he is running at them at the speed he does and with the skill he has.

"He could play for any team in the Premier League. We are just lucky to have him."

Palace have claimed three wins and three draws from their last six visits to the Hornets, while earlier this season the meeting of the two sides at Selhurst Park ended 2-1 to the hosts thanks to dramatic late strikes from bakery Sako and James McArthur.

The Eagles are 31/20 to claim all three points next weekend, with the draw priced at 11/5, while the visitors are 10/1 to secure a 2-1 victory.

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Hughton wary of tough run-in

Brighton boss Chris Hughton does not want to rely on other teams slipping up as he attempts to guide the Seagulls to safety.

After losing 3-2 at Crystal Palace on Saturday, Brighton are seven points clear of the bottom three, but have only taken one point from their last four games and face a very difficult run-in.

Brighton play Tottenham at the Amex on Tuesday night, before coming up against Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Burnley.

Hughton's team may avoid relegation even if they don't pick up any more points this season, but the Seagulls boss is keen to return to winning ways as soon as possible.

Brighton are 8/1 to be relegated this season and 13/2 to beat Tottenham on Tuesday. Hughton's side are 20/1 to win the encounter 1-0 and 6/1 to keep a clean sheet in the match.

Hughton said: "We want to be able to get to safety in this division because of what we've done and the points that we've got, not just because maybe others haven't got theirs.

"Of course you'll take it, but you are always better off if your destiny is in your own hands.

"We are capable. The top six are the top six because they are the best teams with the best players, so we know the magnitude of all of these games.

"But we've played very well against Arsenal and managed to get a result. The top six will lose games, perhaps some they don't expect to lose, and we have to go into the (Tottenham) game with that type of mentality.

"We have got tough games left and we will have to get a result that probably no-one expects in one of them."

Zaha’s form thrills Hodgson

Roy Hodgson is so pleased with Wilfried Zaha's form that he thinks the Crystal Palace star can be as good a player as Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard.

The 25-year-old scored twice on Saturday as the Eagles secured a vital 3-2 victory against Brighton.

The result lifted Palace above Swansea and up to 16th in the Premier League table, six points clear of the bottom three.

Hodgson said of former Manchester United star Zaha: "We can't ask any more than what he's giving us.

"His dribbling ability and ability on the ball has been very good for a long time, so what step can he take to get himself up there recognised like Sanchez, like Eden Hazard is recognised at Chelsea?

"What's he going to do to make that step? With his qualities, he can take that step and become even better.

"Wilf has been in superb form this season, and last season towards the end too. We had to take off Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the last 10 minutes as he cramped up, but his performance was fantastic as well."

Palace are 31/20 to win their next match on Saturday at Vicarage Road against Watford while Brighton are now 8/1 to be relegated this season.

Hodgson ponders his options

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson could restore Christian Benteke to his starting line-up for Saturday's crunch clash against Brighton.

The 27-year-old Belgium international, who has struggled to find his best form all season, missed last weekend's 2-2 draw with Bournemouth because of a groin injury and it was suggested that the Eagles looked a better outfit in his absence.

However, Hodgson remains a big fan of the former Aston Villa and Liverpool striker, who has only scored twice in the Premier League this term – against Leicester City and West Ham United.

With five games remaining, Palace are one place and three points above the bottom three with Brighton four points better off in 13th place and with a game in hand.

However, the Seagulls have a very hard run-in and can be backed at 16/1 to be relegated this season, while Palace are 11/2 to win Saturday's game 1-0.

"As far as we are concerned, these last five games have enormous importance irrespective of who we play," Hodgson said.

"But given the fact that it is Brighton and there is this enormous rivalry between the two teams I can't deny it gives it an extra edge.

"We must not allow our hearts to rule our heads to the extent that we make mistakes tactically or by showing too much emotion which maybe leads to a player getting booked or sent off which can happen in these derby games.

"Alexander Sorloth trained for the first time on Thursday and came through the session well while Christian Benteke has made enormous progress."

Hughton retains survival concerns

Brighton boss Chris Hughton says there is still a long way to go before his players can celebrate ensuring a second successive season in the Premier League.

The Seagulls head into a weekend grudge match with Crystal Palace holding a seven-point cushion above the relegation places, despite having picked up just one point from their last three games.

And with a tough-looking run-in ahead of them, Hughton has told his side not to even contemplate having already secured survival, as they prepare to be boosted by the return from suspension of Anthony Knockaert.

Ahead of a trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday, Hughton told reporters: "It's very, very difficult at this stage to speak about six-pointers, because they are all very big games.

"Until we are in a position that we could see ourselves safe in this division, whenever that next game is becomes the biggest game.

"I would still rather, even with the games that we have, be in a position where we have a certain amount of points as opposed to desperately having to get them.

"There is still a long way to go and we will certainly have to pull out, I think, some good results. There are groups of teams below us very capable of winning their games.

"The players are ready and they have to be ready. Every game for us, particularly every game away from home, is a very difficult game."

Having taken on Palace, Albion have visits to Burnley, Manchester City and Liverpool ahead of them, with their two remaining home games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

Brighton are currently priced at 16/1 to be relegated this season, with Palace available at 8/1 and Southampton 10/11.

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Hughton wants points quickly

Brighton must get their Premier League safety ensured quickly ahead of a tough end to the season, admits Chris Hughton.

The Seagulls go into this weekend in 13th place, with six points to spare on the relegation zone.

They face a big game on Saturday as 16th placed Huddersfield arrive at the Amex Stadium. Getting three points could be vital for Hughton's men.

Brighton will play all of the current top three in their final three games of the season, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool in the space of just nine days.

His side are 17/20 to win on Saturday and the importance of getting points in their next three before that daunting finish isn't lost on Hughton.

"It's a difficult end to the season, but an exciting one as well. Yes, it does put a little bit more pressure on other results," he admitted.

"What we want to do is get the points that we need to make sure that we stay in this division as quick as possible."

Huddersfield are 15/4 for victory at the Amex, which would see them draw level with their hosts, while the draw is 12/5.

While their finish is going to be tough, Hughton says there won't be a defeatist attitude from Brighton as they look to extend their stay in the top flight.

"I don't think you can afford to go into any game thinking you can't get a result. That's the way we've been throughout the season and that's the way we'll continue to be," he added.

"Of course there are only a certain amount of games left where we are at home. I think it puts a bit more pressure on because it's a home game and we all know what's at stake."

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Ndidi sees bright Foxes future

Wilfred Ndidi says he is not thinking of a move away from Leicester City and believes the Foxes can once again compete at the top of the Premier League.

The Nigerian has a contract to stay at the King Power Stadium until 2022 but his performances this season – he is the Premier League's top tackler – could attract interest from elsewhere.

However, Ndidi who has been a regular for the Foxes this season, says he is not thinking about any potential move away from Claude Puel's side.

He told The Sun: "Any move to a bigger club will take care of itself if I keep doing my thing."

Indeed, with the club being Premier League champions in 2016 and Champions League quarter-finalists the year after, Ndidi wants to be a part of more success at Leicester.

"Claude is always making sure everyone knows what their target is and what we have to do," he added.

"Anything is possible with Leicester, even qualifying for the Champions League again. Why not? We won the league, so anything is achievable in the minds of the players."

Ndid will miss the next two games for Leicester following a red card received in the Foxes 2-0 win away at Brighton on Saturday.

Glenn Murray missed a penalty for the home side but two late goals from Vicente Iborra and Jamie Vardy secured the points which keep the Foxes eighth in the Premier League, five points behind sixth-placed Arsenal in the race for Europa League football next season.

Leicester are back at home next Saturday, playing Newcastle and they are 17/20 for another three points. Rafael Benitez's team are 10/3 for the win with the draw priced at 12/5.

City are 13/5 to win by a one-goal margin.

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Europa League the goal for Puel

Europa League qualification will be Leicester's goal for the remainder of the season, according to Claude Puel.

After a tough start under Craig Shakespeare, the Foxes have flown somewhat under the radar since Puel's arrival in October.

With eight games to go they currently sit eighth in the table, three points shy of Burnley above them.

It appears finishing seventh will be enough for a European place and with Everton also in the mix, every point will count.

Saturday sees Leicester head to the south coast to take on a Brighton side who have won their last three outings at The Amex.

Both have spent the international break licking their wounds following FA Cup defeats and will have been thinking about this game throughout their time off.

Puel led Southampton to an eighth-place finish last term and with no other distractions, is hoping to go one better by guiding his current club to seventh and a potential shot at Europe.

“I think it is a good opportunity for us to keep the good focus and concentration until the end of the season,” said the Frenchman.

"If in October you would have said it was possible to be playing for something at the end of the season we would have taken that because it is a good opportunity.

"It is fantastic to play the last games with an exciting challenge. This will be a good reward for all the squad and all their hard work up to now."

He added: "Each of the last eight games will be tough but a chance to qualify for this position."

Leicester are 17/10 to win on Saturday, with Brighton available at 15/8 and the draw 9/4.

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Europa goal for Puel

Europa League qualification will be Leicester's goal for the remainder of the season, according to Claude Puel.

After a tough start under Craig Shakespeare, the Foxes have flown somewhat under the radar since Puel's arrival in October.

With eight games to go they currently sit eighth in the table, three points shy of Burnley above them.

It appears finishing seventh will be enough for a European place and with Everton also in the mix, every point will count.

Saturday sees Leicester head to the south coast to take on a Brighton side who have won their last three outings at The Amex.

Both have spent the international break licking their wounds following FA Cup defeats and will have been thinking about this game throughout their time off.

Puel led Southampton to an eighth-place finish last term and with no other distractions, is hoping to go one better by guiding his current club to seventh and a potential shot at Europe.

“I think it is a good opportunity for us to keep the good focus and concentration until the end of the season,” said the Frenchman.

"If in October you would have said it was possible to be playing for something at the end of the season we would have taken that because it is a good opportunity.

"It is fantastic to play the last games with an exciting challenge. This will be a good reward for all the squad and all their hard work up to now."

He added: "Each of the last eight games will be tough but a chance to qualify for this position."

Leicester are 17/10 to win on Saturday, with Brighton available at 19/10 and the draw 11/5.

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