Tottenham Hotspur prepare to face a gargantuan challenge this evening when they go head-to-head with Barcelona at Wembley Stadium.
Although the Lilywhites faithful would love to be welcoming the Catalan giants to the new White Hart Lane, they will still be salivating at the prospect of seeing their club in battle against the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.
After losing their opening fixture against Inter Milan, the Wednesday night clash carries an added weight of importance for Spurs in their bid to reach the knockout stages of the competition, but Charlie Nicholas thinks they’ll be facing an uphill task with 4 fixtures left to play.
Indeed, in his pre-match prediction column as published by Sky Sports, Nicholas tipped Barcelona to steal the points with a 3-2 victory and stated: ‘It will come down to that extra bit of quality and that’s what Barcelona have.’
But Nicholas did not completely write off Tottenham’s chances as he suggested that they could enjoy some success if they are able to beat Barcelona at their own possession-based game: ‘Barca will be patient and try and control possession, but that’s what Spurs will want to do too, so whoever can do that will be key.’
Considering the array of talent at Ernesto Valverde’s disposal and their status as one of the pioneers of the modern possession-based game, Tottenham are likely to struggle to control possession but, with the roar of almost 90,000 supporters behind them and considering Barcelona’s struggle to blow teams away on the road this season, there’s no doubt they are capable of matching the Catalan giants.
That Barcelona lost 2-1 to rock-bottom CD Leganes away from home in September suggests there are frailties to be exploited in their defensive unit, and Tottenham’s contingent of ruthless attacking players certainly possess the quality to prise the visitors open.
Spurs will have to settle for long spells without the ball, but when they do recover possession they have the speed and guile on the break to upset the La Liga champions.
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