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Fireworks are bound to fly when last season’s Premier League runners-up face the reigning kings of Europe in a colossal Champions League encounter on October 17th. They’ve only faced each other in this competition once, which was back in 2011. Since then, a lot has changed for both teams and the upcoming match will certainly prove to be an intense affair for both sets of fans, while treating neutrals to a breath-taking game of football.
All eyes will be on the battle between the Premier League’s reigning two-time, top goalscorer Harry Kane against the ruling Ballon d’Or maestro Cristiano Ronaldo. Besides these two, it will also be quite interesting to see Dele Alli against former Spurs player Gareth Bale. Playmakers Christian Eriksen and Luka Modric will also have quite a tussle in the center of the park, paving way for an epic battle.
Even though Madrid are the favourites by a long shot, Spurs are more than capable of causing a mighty upset. Especially with Harry Kane in red-hot form, the match can tilt either way. Having said that, what is it that can propel Tottenham to a victory against Europe’s finest?
Straight off the bat, Spurs have been massively boosted by the summer acquisitions of Davinson Sanchez, Paulo Gazzaniga, Juan Foyth, Serge Aurier and Fernando Llorente. With these five signings, Spurs have strengthened their defence and attack.
Squad depth certainly won’t be an issue. Their defence is recognised as one of the best in the Premier League, and a lot will rely on them to restrict the likes of Isco, Asensio and the man himself – Cristiano Ronaldo.
The midfield will certainly be an interesting battle considering both teams have quality players in the middle. Madrid are known for playing sneaky yet creative football in the middle while Spurs play a more pressing, posession-based game.
Going forward, Harry Kane will definitely be an important factor for Spurs. He should be looking to get an early goal or two, to build pressure on the Spanish giants. While some may speculate that Kane may falter since he has not really been tested against big European clubs, the answer lies in his performance against Borussia Dortmund.
Kane was a force to be reckoned with as he burst upon the Dortmund defence and wreaked havoc endlessly. He will be keen on mustering some more of that energy against Real Madrid to give Spurs an edge over their rivals.
Now, coming to Spurs’ biggest weapon – Mauricio Pochettino. He is not a man of many words but his tactics speak for themselves. In fact, the way he has improved the team is extremely evident. In his first season, Spurs finished 5th, but in his second season, he elevated Spurs to a 3rd place finish.
Last season, Tottenham finished 2nd – and were the only real challengers of Chelsea. Spurs’ performance in the Champions League last season didn’t earn them any brownie points, but this season could be a bit different due to their consistent improvement and squad addition.