Matchday 2 of this season’s Champions League is upon us this season and Mauricio Pochettino takes his Tottenham team to sunny Cyprus as after victory in the opening fixture against Borussia Dortmund he will now be looking for a second straight win when they take on APOEL Nicosia.
They make the trip without Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen who is out through suspension due to his late sending off at Wembley. There was an element of confusion as to just exactly the disciplinary action would be for the Tottenham centre back after he was given his marching orders.
Although the sending off would have been of some frustration for the club, the mood would have been lifted ever so slightly by the fact it was a second yellow card and not a red one. This means it is just a one match ban and not a lengthy suspension which would also see Vertonghen miss out on the clashes with Real Madrid.
Serge Aurier picked up a sending off at the weekend away at West Ham but is available to feature tonight. Saturday saw the clash with the Hammers end in something of a grandstand finish as Spurs had to hold on at the very end but they managed to come away with all three points over their crosstown rivals.
It was three points that they came away with in Matchday 1 as they got the better of German giants Borussia Dortmund. The scoreline showed that it was a relatively comfortable 3-1 win for Spurs but they did perhaps have a slice of luck with the game at 2-1 when Paul Bosz’s side had a legitimate goal ruled out for offside.
But it would be unfair to say that it is just luck that got Tottenham over the line at Wembley as they looked a much different beast compared to their Champions League exploits of last season. What would made for more impressive reading is that for a team that usually dominates possession, they only had 36% of the ball against Dortmund.
You would imagine that they will get more of the ball this evening as APOEL will look to sit deep and hit Tottenham on the counter attack. So it will be a case of having to try and break the Cypriot champions down and dictate the tempo of the game.
This will be unchartered territory for Tottenham as they meet APOEL for the first time but they certainly cannot take the Cypriot’s lightly. To call them minnows will be doing them a disservice and they are more than capable of making life difficult this evening.
But with the talent at Tottenham’s disposal and the fact that Harry Kane has easily exuded that sluggish start to the season then you would imagine that it would be all three points for the Londoners and with a group that is this tight it almost has to be.
Here is what social media thinks – there is still time to vote
Time for another set of #ChampionsLeague scientific polls
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 25, 2017