Are Spurs primed for a Champions League challenge?
Charlie Dear | 18 September 2018
Tottenham could make a real impact
Tottenham Hotspur take on Inter Milan on Tuesday as they embark on a third-successive Champions League campaign.
For one reason or another Mauricio Pochettino didn’t add to his squad in the summer transfer window, preferring to stick with what he’s got.
They crashed out to Juventus in the last-16 last season after turning heads for their performances in the group-stage.
But another year on the Coral News Team examine whether Spurs are ready for the business end of the tournament…
As hinted upon, the majority of this tight-knit squad is about to enter their third Champions League group-stage in a row.
This accounts for three of the club’s four entries into the competition ever.
Pochettino has overseen a group-stage exit in 2016-17 and then the admirable second-round loss to Juventus last season.
However, this year could be different. The World Cup has made a star of of Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane became only the second English World Cup golden boot winner after Gary Lineker in 1986.
Tottenham are 5/1 to make the semi-finals and these experiences should see them better equipped for big games such as the Juventus tie when they fell away after a promising start.
Lucas Moura’s fine form at the beginning of the season has been a timely reminder of just how good the nippy forward can be. A break-out star in Brazil, he seems to have rediscovered the verve that took him to Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.
He was man of the match after notching two goals against Manchester United on his way to August’s Premier League Player of the month award.
The 26-year-old’s upturn in fortunes has coincided with a move into a two-man attack with Kane. This could also benefit the team and present Son Heung-Min with a space in the starting eleven.
Pochettino may have to get experimental with his forward-line the further into the competition they go.
Everyone who watches Tottenham under Pochettino – whether regular or casual viewers – can appreciate their increased efficiency and clear style of play.
But one thing they’ve lacked is that decisiveness in the biggest games – and that costs them trophies.
Their FA Cup semi-final exit to Manchester United last season was the eighth-successive loss in the last four of the competition.
There are many that believe Spurs should have turned their impressive form into a tangible Premier League-shaped trophy in the last three years as well.
Until, the squad get passed the mental barrier of the latter rounds when the heat really is on. Then this Tottenham side will just be remembered as the young pretenders.
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