Barcelona v Tottenham betting tips: Can Spurs get a result in Spain?
Richard Marsh | 11 December 2018
Preview and odds for Champions League tie
Tottenham Hotspur’s task in order to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League is simple; they must match or beat Inter Milan’s result tonight.
But that doesn’t tell the full story. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are away at Barcelona, while Inter are at home to PSV Eindhoven.
Can Spurs and Harry Kane pull off a coup and tonight? Or will they slip into a potential Premier League burden of the Europa League? Kick-off is at 8:00pm and it’s all live on BT Sport 3.
Lionel Messi netted twice in a sizzling display as Barca ran out 4-2 winners in the reverse tie at Wembley.
That was only the third-ever meeting between the teams. A two-legged Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final in 1982 saw a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane before the Spanish side won 1-0 at the Nou Camp to reach the final.
Form wise, Enersto Valverde’s side have lost just two of their 22 matches this season. But of more concern for Spurs’ hopes is that Barca have been beaten at home only twice in their last 64 competitive games. The La Liga giants have kept 30 clean sheets in that time too.
Spurs have lost only three of their last 17 games, but have a poor travelling record in the Champions League with just four wins from 15 matches.
Kane and Christian Eriksen, handed rare rests at the weekend, will return to the starting line-up this evening.
That should form an attacking quartet alongside Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min. That line-up proved devastating in the 3-1 win over Chelsea last month.
Pochettino will need to choose between Eric Dier or Harry Winks in midfield. The former offers better defensive security, but the latter brings a better launchpad to go forward.
Tottenham are without Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier however, so Kyle Walker-Peters could get his first European start.
Having already topped Group B, Barca coach Valverde may opt to rest key players and has said as much. Luis Suarez will be rested, while Lionel Messi may be handed the night off too.
That could mean starts for Ousmane Dembele, Munir and the highly-rated Malcom.
Philippe Coutinho, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic will be vying for a place alongside Sergio Busquets in a three-man midfield.
Barca held 59% possession in that six-goal clash at Wembley. On home soil that figure should increase, with Coutinho and Rakitic dictating play.
So Spurs and Pochettino will look to counter, especially as a draw won’t be enough should Inter beat PSV.
But counter-attacking is something which should allow Alli, Son and Eriksen to thrive and supply Kane. If they can do that, then they’ve got a chance.
There’s 29/10 about a draw, which would leave Kane and co hoping for a favour from PSV.
It was Coutinho who opened the scoring at Wembley, and the former Liverpool man is 13/2 to do so again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing