Spurs will put their Wembley form to another tough test during the week as Pochettino’s men prepare to host under-fire Real Madrid who need a swift response following a shocking Granada defeat in La Liga this weekend.
Are Spurs slowing down?
The 3-2 Carabao Cup defeat at the hands of West Ham marked the end to an eleven-match unbeaten streak Tottenham had been flying on since the end of August. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have enjoyed a purple patch in all competitions and once again solidified their reputation as Premier League’s most emerging sides this season, but another defeat – this time at the hands of Premier League title contenders Manchester United – exposed all of Spurs’ weaknesses in the strength of character above all. It’s back to the drawing board for the talented manager who faces a tough task of motivating his men and lifting their spirits up for the crucial Wednesday clash which comes to decide who gets to sit on top of Group H midway through the Champions League group stage. Reverse legs always come as a great chance to rectify the errors from the previous leg but in case of Tottenham and Real Madrid – who shared should at Santiago Bernabeu last time out – there shouldn’t be any shortage of excitement whatsoever. Spurs appear to be slowing down the incredible pace but they should not be underestimated by any chance.
Harry Kane is still suffering from a muscle injury but Spurs are optimistic about his chances of being fit. Erik Lamela and Victor Wanyama remain long-term absentees with their hip and knee injuries, respectively.
Zidane in Real problem
Real Madrid midfielder Isco made sure Los Blancos were on the front foot at Girona after only 12 minutes of the match but the resilient hosts proved a huge point by coming back from behind to claim the royal scalp thanks to a second-half two-goal quickfire from Stuani and Portu. Defeat at Girona has left reigning champions trailing leaders Barcelona by huge eight points in third place in the standings and manager Zinedine Zidane with a great load of pressure resting on his shoulders. Real Madrid have lost two league matches in ten already, whereas their Champions League title defence has taken a roadblock against Tottenham last time out when Los Blancos were in a way fortunate enough to avoid defeat. Wounded lions are usually the most dangerous animals and we should all know better than to underestimate Real Madrid especially knowing that Tottenham could be without their key man Kane. However, Real Madrid have problems of their own with biggest star Cristiano Ronaldo in a slightly poorer patch of form. He got on the scoresheet in the reverse leg vs Spurs but failed to get on the scoresheet against Eibar and Girona which, by Ronaldo’s standard, is enough to have us all scratching our heads.
Gareth Bale will not be reuniting with his former club due to a calf injury. Mateo Kovacic, Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Fernandez complete the injury list for Los Blancos.
Both Tottenham and Real Madrid find themselves under pressure after some disappointing results of late and will be eager to make a response against motivating opposition. Both sides have been scoring and conceding of late and goals might be the safest way to survive the cut at Wembley.
Top pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.48 (10/21) @10bet
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 1.50 (1/2) @Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 2: Tottenham 3.90 (29/10) @Sportingbet