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Tottenham backed for Premier League title by legends Mabbutt and Dyson

Tottenham legends Gary Mabbutt and Terry Dyson believe this season is Spurs' best chance of winning the title in 55 years.

Spurs' last league title was under the late Bill Nicholson in the double-winning season of 1960-61 but Mauricio Pochettino's current crop are second in the table with 13 games remaining, five points shy of leaders Leicester City ahead of Sunday's crunch match against fourth-place Manchester City.

Dyson, 81, was part of Nicholson's legendary team -- the first to complete a league and FA Cup Double -- while Mabbutt captained the 1987 side, spearheaded by 49-goal Clive Allen, who finished third.

Mabbutt, formerly an imposing centre-half, believes Pochettino's squad have a great chance for glory.

"The opportunity is there for us. We were close a number of times in the early 1980s, fourth in the Nineties and but we've not had such a good possibility for a long time," Mabbutt, 54, told the Daily Mirror.

"They've got a great chance because no one actually expects them to do it. Even Leicester doing so well has made it an unusual season because the spotlight is on them and Tottenham have been creeping up on the rails.

"They have now got a group of players growing and maturing as they go. It's a young group, they've got a brilliant dressing room spirit, great camaraderie and the manager must take so much credit.

"We were almost there in 1987 but this team in some ways reminds me of back then. Harry Kane up front, they have a solid base like we had with Ray Clemence, myself, Richard Gough and a five-man midfield.

"Now they have Hugo Lloris, one of the best keepers in the world, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are the best central defensive partnership in the league in my opinion, Eric Dier has done so well as has Dele Alli. There's competition in every department, they've got four very good full backs with [Kyle] Walker and [Danny] Rose but they've also been able to bring in [Kieran] Trippier and [Ben] Davies."

Dyson is also excited about the potential of Pochettino's squad but the former winger was more cautious than Mabbutt -- largely because he believes previous Spurs teams have been hampered by comparisons to the Double-winners.

"They have had some good individual players over the years," Dyson told the Daily Express. "But they always compared the teams to us, which was a bit unfair. They never achieved what we achieved and constantly being reminded of that made it hard for them.

"Maybe one day this team will. They have got some good players, we have just got to wait and see. It would be incredible if they could do it - especially against teams who are spending what they are. They are doing well.

"But it is wrong to start making comparisons between them and us."

Dyson does, however, believe there are similarities between Pochettino and Nicholson.

He explained: "I don't really know him but just from seeing how he has put his team together there seems to be a similarity. We do play well at times.

"He has got the respect of all the players and seems to have developed a system where players arrive and simply slot in and play some good football.

"People used to ask me how come we scored so many goals? It was because we played the same way away from home as we did at White Hart Lane. We just attacked teams. Pochettino's side does the same."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.


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