Inter the known
Inter Milan can expect a red-hot welcome at Spurs, says Phil Thompson, while Man Utd should breeze it.
Last Updated: 01/11/10 12:44pm
Spurs are going to absolutely relish taking on Inter at home - especially after what happened a fortnight ago at the San Siro.
They'll love to get one over the European Champions and this is exactly the type of night Spurs fans have been waiting for at White Hart Lane; they'll make it a very hot atmosphere and the place will be jumping.
Spurs may be new to the whole Champions League experience but what better maker could there be to put one over Inter at home?
I wouldn't be surprised if Inter feel a little bit intimidated going to White Hart Lane because although they have experienced internationals in their ranks they know that Tottenham can hurt them - there is more than enough pace in the side to really trouble the back line.
Spurs will start fast and get into Inter's faces, put them under heavy pressure and try not to let them get their heads up. The pain of going 4-0 down so quickly two weeks ago will still hurt and it's something they'll want to put right, right now.
It's a massive ask to ask Gareth Bale to score another hat-trick but I can see him having a major input into the game again, especially if Rafael van der Vaart (who was suspended when the sides last met) suffers any further problems with his hamstring in training.
I would be absolutely amazed if Peter Crouch didn't start because time and again he has shown he is a real handful in the box and although Lucio is a very good defender I can see him struggling with Crouch's height.
Inter may be without Julio Cesar too, depending on how his injury shapes up, and I see that as a bigger loss than Spurs having to do without the suspended Heurelho Gomes because Carlo Cudicini has a lot of good experience behind him.
Rafa Benitez didn't have a great record away at Spurs with Liverpool so he'll be hoping that he can put that right with a different club but maybe Harry's just got the hoodoo over him at the Lane.
THOMMO'S VERDICT - Spurs are going to win this one - although they may only sneak it - to go level with Inter on points.
Bursaspor v Manchester United
I thought United's victory over Spurs at the weekend was massive for them.
They haven't played as well as they can this year yet they are still able to pick up important results; the fact that they are still unbeaten in the Premier League tells you all you need to know.
When they do start playing well and hit on a run of top form, which they will, it's going to be very hard to knock them over.
Playing Spurs was a big test for them, the way that Spurs have been going, so to have put that to bed - all be it with a controversial second goal - was the perfect fillip for them going into this game, which in all honesty shouldn't be a problem for them.
Bursaspor will give it their all and they will have a spell where they are going to have a little bit about them but I can't see anything within their ranks that is going to cause United any problems - no matter what side United put out.
Rio's not fit again, which will worry Sir Alex for the later stages of the competition, but there's more than enough in the squad to deal with a Bursaspor side that has yet to score in three Champions League games so far.
Javier Hernandez didn't play well against Spurs, for me; I don't think he and Dimitar Berbatov really hit it off. But we know of his quality and this is an ideal game for him to continue the great impression he's making. He's quick-thinking and will give Bursaspor a real headache.
THOMMO'S VERDICT - I can't see there being too many goals in this one but United won't have any problem nailing it down. It's United 2-0 for me.
Valencia v Rangers
Rangers have done very, very well so far in the competition but I think away at Valencia is going to be a different ball game altogether.
Valencia will know after the draw between the sides two weeks ago that this is not a bad Rangers team and although I think Walter Smith will go with the trusted 4-5-1 again I just can't see his side getting anything out of the game.
Rangers knew this was going to be one of the toughest games of the group and they won't say it, but I will: this is one that they probably always thought they would lose.
I think they probably had their eye on this game on Saturday when they drew with Inverness at the weekend.
Walter has only used 14 players in the competition so far which can only help their consistency; the players have got to know the formation and what's required of them.
I'd expect he will play the same team if he can, although I know Maurice Edu is a big doubt and Vladimir Weiss is struggling.
THOMMO'S VERDICT - They didn't have the best result at the weekend, drawing with Zaragova, but I can see Valencia winning this one 2-0 and going above Rangers in the table.