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Tottenham v Barcelona - Wembley Stadium, Wednesday 3rd October 7.45pm Live on BT Sport

Tottenham v Barcelona – Champions League

Tottenham in a must win match already?

Tottenham entertain Barcelona in Matchday 2 having suffered injury time heartache at the San Siro against Inter Milan when looking well set for at least a point for most of the game a fortnight ago.

They can ill-afford to lose the game against the experienced Catalans as they will then be 6 points behind at this early stage.  I would anticipate that Inter Milan will gain at least a point against PSV as well.  This will pile the pressure on Tottenham even at this early stage of the group.

Both teams league form this season can best be described as patchy.  Tottenham started well with 3 consecutive wins.  They then suffered 2 consecutive league defeats in between that heartbreaking defeat to Inter.

Since then though they have shown considerable resolve to bounce back with 3 wins on the bounce.  It has to be noted though that these were against Brighton and Huddersfield so not exactly the creme de la creme of the Premier League.

Tottenham are definitely without Dele Alli and also look likely to be without captain Hugo Lloris.   To compound this back up keeper Michael Vorm is also injured so Paulo Gazzaniga looks likely to make debut in the Champions League.

A positive for Tottenham is that Harry Kane was back  on the goal trail at the weekend with a double.  Also Christian Eriksen is in fine form.  They should be troubling Barcelona who have defensive frailties of their own to worry over.

Tottenham’s defence will need to be at their strongest to keep Messi and Suarez at bay for 90+ minutes.  I believe that was the reason that Mauricio Pochettino rested some players at the weekend.  He knows how vital this game is both financially and mentally to his team this season, even at this early stage.

Tottenham to suffer Barcelona backlash?

Barcelona come into this game on the back of a woeful run of form in La Liga.  Since thrashing PSV 4-0 they have only picked up 2 points from a possible 9.  They have also suffered a somewhat embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Leganes.  Therefore there is a huge amount of pressure already on new coach Ernesto Valverde.

Despite that run of form they are still top of La Liga.  The fans though are desperate to win the top European trophy again having not clinched it since 2011 at Wembley.  Even more so considering bitter rivals Real Madrid recent run of success in the competition.

Barcelona do not appear to travel particularly well in Europe.  They have won just 5 of their last 16 and lost 4 of their last 9 in the Champions League.  However they have topped their Champions League group for 11 consecutive years!

At some point their form will return.  Luis Suarez when with Liverpool seemed to enjoy playing against Tottenham.  In his last 3 appearances against them he scored 4 goals and had 2 assists.  Also Lionel Messi has scored more goals (20) and given more assists (6) against English clubs than against any other nation in the Champions League.

So write them off at you peril!

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