Tottenham face a mountain to climb after losing the first leg 4:0 in Madrid, but Spurs are now determined to prove they have the quality to match a side like Real. Los Blancos took great advantage of Tottenham’s poor showing in Spain and they have virtually secured the passage to the Champions League semi-finals.
Tottenham out to make amends
Spurs clearly face an uphill task after losing 4:0 at the Bernabeu, but if there is a team that can produce a spirited performance at home that is Tottenham. I’m not saying that Harry Redknapp’s side can overturn the deficit and make it to the Champions League semis, but they are ready to have it a go and Real will not have an easy night at White Hart Lane. Harry Redknapp’s side clearly didn’t deserve such a heavy defeat in Spain as they had the misfortune of conceding an early goal, while having Peter Crouch sent off early on, which definitely changed the game. Even with ten men on the pitch, Tottenham created a couple of great chances and maybe should have scored, but once they started running on empty Real scored few more goals to put the tie beyond doubt. Spurs restored some of the lost confidence by beating Stoke at the weekend and with Aaron Lennon back to the side, they certainly have enough fire power to hurt Real’s back line.
Aaron Lennon is set to return to the starting line-up after recovering from illness, while William Gallas should also return after being rested against Stoke. Tom Huddlestone produced a good performance on his return of injury and he is now vying with Sandro for the place alongside Luka Modric.
Two El Clasicos coming up
Real Madrid have really progressed under Jose Mourinho and the mere fact they are still in the race for three major trophies is the perfect proof. The La Liga title, however, is slowly getting out of reach, especially after the home defeat to Sporting Gijon, but los Merengues have already secured their place in Copa del Rey final and Champions League semi-final. Real Madrid showed a lot of weaknesses in the first leg and who knows how the game would have unfolded if Crouch had not been sent off, meaning they could face some problems at White Hart Lane as well. With La Liga game against Barcelona due just three days after the Tottenham match, and Copa del Rey final scheduled for next Wednesday, Jose Mourinho could be tempted into resting his star players against Spurs, since Real already have a huge advantage and that is something Tottenham can take advantage of and at least record a morale boosting win.
Sergio Ramos, Ricardo Carvalho, Raul Albiol, Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo are all one yellow card away from European suspension and Jose Mourinho is likely to leave most of them on the bench so as not to risk anything.
Tottenham players are extremely motivated to make amends for the heavy defeat at Bernabeu and with fans behind them from the first minute, they can do something special at White Hart Lane. That may not be enough for the place in the Champions League semis, but it could suffice for a good victory against Real Madrid.
Verdict: Tottenham to win with 0:0 Asian handicap
Odds: 2.00 (1/1)
Bookmaker: Paddy Power