Alli vs Lingard: Scrap for World Cup spots won't faze Spurs star, says Hoddle

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Midfield stars at Tottenham and Manchester United are set to battle it out for a place in Gareth Southgate's starting XI in Russia this summer

Dele Alli has had an “indifferent season” at Tottenham but will not be fazed by a World Cup battle with Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, says Glenn Hoddle.

Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, Spurs star Alli was a guaranteed starter for club and country, with his performances in the Premier League and for the Three Lions earning widespread praise.

Such a standing has come under threat this term, with the 21-year-old – who has nine goals to his name – forced to face uncomfortable questions regarding his form.

Among those now threatening to steal his spot in the England side is United midfielder Lingard, who enjoyed a recent purple patch with the Red Devils, but Hoddle feels the Spurs star will be relishing the challenge.

The former Tottenham and England manager told football.london: "I don't think he'll be worried about it.

"He'll look to get on with his own job. It's up to other people to assess what they're looking for.

"Gareth Southgate will look for something different in the plan if he goes for one player and not another because it suits what he's looking to do in the team.

"Dele Alli will just get on with his job and he's a top threat. He'll maintain getting into the penalty area and scoring goals.

"He's had a slightly indifferent season, but he's still affected the game. He will affect the game as he's a box threat and he likes to score goals.

"He's done that time and time again over the last few seasons and we forget how young he is.

"It's great seeing two young English players playing well in that position.

"It's such an important position nowadays in that role if they play the player in behind the striker. It's not a free role, it's the hub of the team.

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"It comes with a difference to winning games and being the difference."

Lingard has contributed 12 goals and four assists to the United cause this season, with Alli complementing his nine strikes with 10 efforts teed up for grateful team-mates.

Both men will be hoping to be on the plane when England boss Gareth Southgate finalises his 23-man squad heading to Russia this summer.

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