Barcelona’s visit to Wembley to face Spurs is being seen as a tough tie at the wrong time for the home side, up against La Liga league leaders, and having lost in their last euro outing with Inter.
Defeats away to Watford, home to fellow Champions League challengers Liverpool, and away at San Siro against Inter, coupled with unconvincing performances in many of their other outings, have resulted in fans being largely disappointed at the start to the campaign, with the sportsbook GiveMeBet among others needing to factor this in to their odds on reaching the all important top 4 spots.
But while Tottenham have endured what some have described as a slow start, the fact remains that they currently sit in 4th position, well in contention for all competitions in which they remain a part of, and fresh off the back of three victories in a row. It’s possible there is a renewed enthusiasm around the club, that would be significantly boosted if they were to get a win against Messi and co.
There may also be other factors that suggest Barca might not have it all their own way on Wednesday night. It’s interesting to note that the Spanish giants have only won one solitary game in their last seven away Champions League ties, against Sporting of Portugal. Draws with Olympiacos, Juventus and Chelsea, and defeats to PSG, Juventus and in the knockout phase last year with Roma, being the defeats. A record like that must put some confidence into the Tottenham team.
By contrast, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have won four of their last seven, and in fact, four of their last five, including wins over Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. If league form really does go out of the window for Champions League nights, Spurs could count themselves in with a great chance of getting their first Group B points this season.
In terms of team news, Spurs will be without Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen, Serge Aurier and Mousa Dembele, meaning there are likely starts for Davinson Sanchez, Harry Winks, Heung-Min Son and the in-form Erik Lamela. Meanwhile Hugo Lloris is set to return again, having missed recent matches with a thigh injury.
It may be a less than full strength Spurs side, and they may not have found their feet quite yet this term, but Wednesday provides the perfect springboard to kick-start their season.