Friday, June 22, 2018

Prediction: Tottenham vs Real Madrid

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/9

Bookmaker: Bet365

Things are really starting to reach a boiling point in Group H, despite both sides entering the match on a poor run of form, Tottenham and Real Madrid currently sit joint top of their group and both sides will know that if they can come away with three crucial points, they will secure their spot in the next round of the competition.

Tottenham

Given Tottenham’s terrible form when playing at Wembley last season, many expected that Spurs would once again face similar problems when hosting at their temporary home. Instead, one year later, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side currently sitting pretty at the top of Group H. Still unbeaten in the group stage, Spurs have already beaten Borussia Dortmund at Wembley and have also seen off Apoel before picking up their historic point at the Bernabeu.

Sadly for Tottenham, they couldn’t have hit a worse run of form before the arrival of the defending Champions League champions, Pochettino’s team are coming off the back of consecutive defeats to West Ham and Manchester United, without Harry Kane at their disposal, are Tottenham proving to be a one-man club?

Tottenham will be entering the contest knowing that if they can manage to go one step further than a fortnight ago and leave North London with three points, Spurs will secure their spot in the knockout stage of this seasons tournament.

Team News

Harry Kane will undoubtedly be the one name that every Spurs fan will be hoping to see, the Premier League’s top scorer has taken part in training today and Mauricio Pochettino has said that he is very confident that the England international will be fit for Wednesday’s clash.

Also in contention to make a reappearance among the Spurs squad is forgotten man Erik Lamela, the former Roma winger has missed the past year with a recurring hip problem. Tottenham will however still be without midfielder Victor Wanyama who misses out with a knee injury. A now fully fit Mousa Dembele also looks set to replace 21-year-old Harry Winks in the heart of Tottenham’s midfield and Tottenham can also call on Dele Alli who is available following his suspension.

Real Madrid

Like Spurs, Real Madrid are another side that know a thing or two about a bad run of form, for Madrid’s standards, it has been a horrific start to the season. Los Blancos currently sit eight points behind arch-rivals Barcelona in La Liga, and to make matters worse, Zinedine Zidane’s all-star team are coming into Wednesday’s contest after a humiliating 2-1 loss at the hands of Girona. This, however, has not been the only hiccup for the 33-time La Liga champions, already this year, Madrid have dropped points against Levante, Real Betis, Valencia, Tottenham and most recently Girona.

On a positive note for the European giants, Real Madrid have enjoyed some success when travelling away from the Bernebau this year. In their previous eight games on the road, Zizou’s side have only lost once and have managed to find the back of the net at least twice in seven of those matches, those victories also include names such as Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. Madrid fans will be hoping that Harry Kane is unfit though, despite picking up seven wins on the road, the Galacticos have only managed to keep just two clean sheets on the road.

Team News

It looks like former Spurs star Gareth Bale’s return to North London is still on hold, the Welsh winger still remains sidelined with a calf injury. Zidane will also be without number one shot-stopper Keylor Navas who has not made the journey to London, French international defender Raphael Varana will also miss Wednesday’s key game after picking up an injury at the weekend that saw him replaced at half-time.

Some good news for Madrid though, despite an injury concern over the weekend, playmaker Isco looks set to be named in Madrid’s starting XI, he is set to play on the left of a front three that includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo both sit top of the Champions League top scorers charts this season, both have scored five goals in the competition already
  • Real Madrid have never lost to Tottenham, winning three and drawing one
  • Madrid are unbeaten in their last 30 Champions League matches, their last defeat in the competition came in October 2012.
  • Harry Kane has 13 goals in his last 12 matches
  • Tottenham Hotspur have never won at home in European competition against Spanish opposition

Conclusion

Much like their 1-1 draw in mid October, we suspect that both sides will have some success at either end of the pitch. With Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo spearheading either sides attack, goals looks to almost be a guarentee, combined the two have already scored 10 goals in the qualifying campaign. Coupled with both sides strugles to keep a clean sheet, a bet of both teams to score at 4/9 seems like the most logical bet.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/9

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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