Spurs surrendered a one-goal lead to Inter Milan in the San Siro earlier in their Champions League campaign but the victory over PSV Eindhoven last time out means they can still progress to the knockout stages. Put simply, Spurs must win to have any chance to progress.
Spurs Must Win to Keep Champions League Dreams Alive
Last season, Spurs set the Champions League alight with stunning performances against Borussia Dortmund and an emphatic 3-1 victory at Wembley over Real Madrid. This season has been littered with errors and self-destruction, most notably in the first game against Inter Milan and Hugo Lloris losing his head away to PSV Eindhoven. This all leaves a number of scenarios.
All in the Head
There is no doubt that Spurs have to win but their fate could well rest on head-to-heads as this is used by UEFA to see who goes through when teams can end on the same points. Both Inter Milan and Spurs can match Barcelona’s total of ten points but they are already through based on their head-to-head record. It all really leaves everyone scratching their heads. A draw is no good to Spurs at all. A shared point would see their Champions League campaign come to an early end.
Tottenham’s Perfect Scenario
A victory by two clear goals would be the best outcome for Spurs. That would then leave them just needing to win their final game – away at Barcelona! Even a 1-0 victory could be enough for Pochettino’s side to see them finish above Inter Milan and then still need that victory at Barcelona.
Spurs are also in need of Barcelona dropping points in Holland, something that is not likely but in football, anything is possible.
Statement of Intent
Tottenham hit first gear against Chelsea at the weekend and a similar performance on Wednesday night against Inter is needed. Mauricio Pochettino was able to keep players fresh at the weekend, with Lucas Moura and Jan Vertonghen both not required to come on from the bench.
Spurs’ win over Chelsea showed the intent to be title challengers this season and if they can eradicate the errors of previous Champions League games this season, they could just keep fate in their own hands.