Tottenham v Juventus preview: Spurs look to reach Champions League quarter-finals
Last Updated: 07/03/18 9:08pm
Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to show a positive mentality when they face Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at Wembley on Wednesday.
The tie is evenly poised after Spurs came from two goals down to draw 2-2 in the first leg in Turin.
Spurs have only previously reached the quarter-finals of the competition once, back in 2010/11, while Juventus have made the final in two of the last three seasons.
"It's been step by step, a little step every season," said Pochettino. "You can see the team is more mature. We are going to enjoy tomorrow.
"We know very well we are playing one of the best teams in Europe but we are a brave team and we are very positive people.
"We need to think that we can win, we always think in this way. If we are able to play in the way we normally do then we will be close to winning.
"After the group stage we improved our reputation in Europe. Last season was a massive disappointment to be out in the first stage, but this year of course the people in Europe start to respect Tottenham."
Both sides are on long unbeaten runs, with Spurs not having tasted defeat since December 16 and Juventus last losing a game on November 19.
Juve have recorded three successive 1-0 wins after the 2-2 draw in the first leg while Spurs have won three of their four games.
Toby Alderweireld will miss out for Tottenham due to a hamstring injury while full-back Serge Aurier is suspended.
Mario Mandzukic, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi all miss out for Juventus. However, Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia De Sciglio are in the squad.
Paulo Dybala is also expected to start after missing the first leg due to injury.
- Tottenham are one of three teams still unbeaten in this season's Champions League, alongside Barcelona and Liverpool.
- Tottenham have won their last four games at Wembley in the Champions League, their longest 'home' run in the competition. They have also scored exactly three goals in each of those games.
- Juventus have lost only one of their last seven away games in the Champions League knockout stages (W3 D3), keeping a clean sheet in each of their last three outings.
- Harry Kane has been directly involved in 53% of Tottenham's goals in this season's Champions League, scoring seven and assisting two of his side's 17 goals. He's also scored nine goals in his first nine Champions League appearances, making him the fastest player to reach the nine-goal tally in the competition.
- Gianluigi Buffon is one clean sheet away from his 50th in the Champions League. Only two goalkeepers have more (Iker Casillas 55, Edwin van der Sar 50).
It's another fabulous game and Tottenham now have got the boldness that they've been waiting for at Wembley.
You're also talking about a Juventus side who know how to get a business result, but the fact that Spurs got the second goal means Juve have to do something they don't like and open up.
You'd understand Mauricio Pochettino contemplating playing two holding midfielders to protect their advantage, but I think he'll want to do it with a bit of style, thinking he doesn't need to change the way his team play.
I do expect Spurs to finish the job after being so impressive in Turin but I do expect there to be that edge to the tie where they have to come through another testing spell, but Harry Kane has proven he can step up in the big occasions.
Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Kane to score first (19/1 with Sky Bet)
Tottenham are Sky Bet's 6/5 favourites for the victory and odds-on to qualify, with Juventus 12/5 for a Wembley win, the same price as another draw. Spurs were cut from 24/1 to 16/1 to lift the trophy following their comeback in Turin, while the Italian champions have drifted out to 28/1. Harry Kane heads the first goalscorer betting at 3/1 followed by Gonzalo Higuain (9/2) and Paulo Dybala (5/1), while Heung-Min Son is enhanced from 14/1 to 20/1 to bag back-to-back braces in Sky Bet's Price Boosts.