Tottenham welcome Real Madrid at Wembley in a Champions League clash, which will decide the first place in their Champions League group. If Spurs get a result and top the group, they will make a huge step forward in their push for glory.
It is a perfect moment for Mauricio Pochettino’s side to play Real at home as Los Blancos have just lost a very important La Liga away game against Girona, which left them 8 points behind the leaders Barcelona FC. Things are obviously not going good at Santiago Bernabeu at the moment as the club president Florentino Perez has intervened and addressed the Real’s dressing room after the game.
It is always a sign of problems, when any club’s executives speaks on football matters. According to Marca newspaper “Perez went down to the dressing room but this time he was extremely angry, and he wasted no time in letting everyone know”.
Real Madrid lack confidence at the moment and Marca says that “everyone at Real is aware of the delicate situation Los Blancos are experiencing, trailing 8 points behind Barcelona. Barca says that:
“Since last August, the club have handled the compliments and the individual prizes that their players are receiving with caution, but the maxim that ‘flattery weakens’ seems to have been proved.Now the bottle is half full again after the pessimism in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s result, and the desire and success of Zinedine Zidane and his players must return.Florentino Perez is counting on it.”
Spurs have demonstrated that they know how to get a result against Real Madrid and despite that Los Blancos were a bit unfortunate to draw against them at Santiago Bernabeu, the Mauricio Pochettio’s side is capable of repeating the good performance at Wembley.
Is Harry Kane on the spot?
Spurs hope that their star striker Harry Kane will be fit to play against Real Madrid after he was absent from their trip to Old Trafford at the weekend due to a hamstring injury. The media have reported that Tottenham’s medical staff are confident Kane is on course in his recovery.
Despite that Mauricio Pochettino had to speak in public about his team and to say that Tottenham are not team of “Ten + Harry Kane”, it is clear that Spurs rely heavily on him this season. However, the Argentinian manager is probably right as he know that his team is capable of winning without Harry Kane. Still the England striker’s availability is vital in big games like the one against Real Madrid.
Christian Eriksen would be the hero for Spurs!?
A key player for Spurs to get a result on Wednesday night is Christian Eriksen, who’s passing and shooting are vital for Tottenham’s attack. By his own words Eriksen “likes getting the ball”. “If you are smart enough, you don’t need to run. I’m always going to be the guy sneaking the ball through, to create something”, says the Danish midfielder.
According to former Ajax manager Frank de Boer Christian Eriksen had “eyes in his back”. This has helped him to score 34 times and to setup 40 goals in 143 Premier League appearances by the ned of October 2017.
Spurs tactics against the European club champion?
In order to draw or won again Real, Spurs need to come up with the right tactical solution and to disrupt Los Blancos passing. This means that Mauricio Pochettino should find a way to restrict Real Madrid’s midfielders either through a high pressing game or through possession. Real have a long record of playing against teams who’s game depend on ball possession, including their La Liga rivals Barcelona.
Spurs are not famous for their possession game, but at the same time they are really fast in driving the ball forward to Harry Kane and other strikers from everywhere – the central zone and both flanks. The North London club is a leader in this season’s Champions League in terms a number of attempts on the counter-attack.
The journalist and La Liga specialist Graham Hunter said that “very few teams come away getting a round of applause from the Spanish media”, but Spurs did that after they drawn at Santiago Bernabeu on October 17. “They got it, not only for how strategically organised and how clever they looked, but the danger that the team created”, says Hunter, quoted by Tottenham Hotspur website.
Hunter has also underlined the importance of Victor Wanyama for the current Tottenham team and said that “he adds intelligence, equilibrium and balance” to Spurs game. “I genuinely thought that it might be a bit debilitating that he’s not available to anchor the midfield”, adds Hunter.
Real Madrid – the best team on the road?
Spurs have nothing to loose against “best team in the world on the road”, as Hunter described Real. He says the Los Blancos are extraordinary despite not being at full strength, yet. One of the reasons that Real love playing away games is that “they have got no responsibility to play”. When the Zinedine Zidanne led team plays at home, the fans demand that they score a lot of goals and play in “crushing style”. At the same time when the Madrid side play away fixtures “they move the ball swiftly, not long, but through the midfield”.
“You lose the ball anywhere on the pitch and Real are capable of doing absolutely devastating things to any side”, explains Graham Hunter.
So, a win for Spurs against this Real Madrid side would put them in the focus of the football fans around the world. It will be also their first win at home in all European competitions against Spanish clubs. Tottenham have previously drawn two and lost three gams agains Spanish sides.