Champions League: Spurs to lock horns with Messi & Co.
Wembley stadium in London will grace the arrival of Lionel Messi-led Barcelona in a crunch UEFA Champions League battle later tonight. Tottenham Hotspur had lost their opening encounter against Inter Milan and would face a stiff test against Barcelona. It is everything to play for, as Tottenham eye first points this term. Here is our pre-match report.
Injury updates and situations
Tottenham are in a spot of bother as they are set to miss both Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen due to injuries. The hosts will also be without defenders Jan Vertonghen (hamstring), Serge Aurier (thigh) and Mousa Dembele (thigh). Meanwhile, goal-keeper Hugo Lloris is available for selection. Barcelona come into the tie better equipped and the main stars are all available.
Spurs will find it difficult to break Barcelona
Spurs will find it difficult against Barca after being without two of their key play-makers. The hosts need to be defensively strong in seeing off Barca's dream forward line. Further, the mid-field will be exposed against Barca's strong foundation and experienced line-up. Mauricio Pochettino could be forced to use fringe players like Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama.
Barca will be looking up to Messi
Barca will be hoping that talisman Messi continues to steal the show. He scored a hat-trick in the opening game against PSV. Messi will fancy his chances against Spurs and would be hard to stop. Barca will be keen to get over a rough patch as they have picked just two points from 3 league games. They will look up to Messi for inspiration.
Views from both camps
Spurs boss Pochettino claimed in his press conference, "It is a period when we are not having good luck with injuries. We are not victims though. We must feel strong. Every player must feel they can win and achieve what we want." Barca boss Ernesto is wary about Harry Kane. "We know his quality and the danger he poses in the penalty area."
Stat attack: Spurs vs Barca
Barca have just lost 1 out of their last 11 games in the UCL against English teams. However, the Spanish side have managed only one win in their last seven away matches in the UCL. Kane has managed 9 goals in 11 UCL appearances. Barca's Pique is set to make his 100th UCL appearance. Spurs won all their home group UCL games last season.
Key info Spurs vs Barcelona
The match is scheduled for a 12:30 AM kick-off IST later tonight. It will be telecast live on the Sony Ten Network. Meanwhile, in Group B's other match, Inter will be up against PSV away from home.