Tottenham have suffered back to back defeats across all competitions and with that it has meant exit from the Carabao Cuop while also losing further ground to Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, tonight however the focus switches to continental competition and the visit of Real Madrid.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men would have perhaps been felt hard done by after losing it late on in Manchester but they will also undoubtedly be buoyed by the fact that Real Madrid come into this game having been dealt a surprise defeat at the hands of Catalan minnows Girona.
The timing could not be any worse what with the row over Catalan independence currently taking place with the win for Girona almost resembling something out of the 1980’s film ‘Escape To Victory’ and the question now is whether or not Zinedine Zidane’s men are there for the taking.
That may well be the case or you could you look at it the other way and say that they could well be a wounded beast ready to take their anger out on the next opposition they come across and that of course being none other than Tottenham.
The North London outfit will undoubtedly be sweating on the fitness of Harry Kane who missed the defeat to Manchester United last Saturday. The club are confident that he will return but then they also have to ask themselves whether he will be worth the gamble.
You may well say that when Kane is involved of course the risk is worth taking but at the same time you need to remember that there is every chance that the player could be rushed out too quickly and then suffer a further injury that sees him miss a month of the season.
With the international break around the corner and Crystal Palace at the weekend then the Tottenham backroom staff may well advise that Kane sits out the next two matches so as to be fully fit once play resumes especially as they go up against Arsenal in their first game after the hiatus.
They may well decide to not start Kane because in a sense this game does not really come with the win or bust tag that other games have been labeled with in Matchday 4. That is because with Tottenham alread on seven points they only need three more to get over the line and make the Round of 16.
But at the same time they may well feel that Real Madrid are a team that are on the ropes and why wait to December and leave matters to the final fixture against APOEL to pick up an expected win when they could wrap matters up with two games to spare.
Not only that though but there is still every opportunity that they could go on and win the group and in doing so they would then give themselves in theory an easier draw for the first knockout round after the winter break, ultimately do Tottenham stick or twist.
Real Madrid come here with a number of key men set to miss out, Isco who scored at the weekend could be one of them while Gareth Bale definitely will not play and will not get the chance to go up against his former club, disappointment for the Welsh international but relief for his former paymasters.
There is very little to split these two teams at present they have the same record in their respective leagues and have also scored the same amount of goals (19) the only thing that can split them is the fact that Tottenham have conceded seven league goals to Real Madrid’s nine.
Add the fact that they are joint top of Group H and even though Real Madrid are of course the biggest club in the world in terms of stature it could go anyway this evening, there are a lot of caveats and variables as stated above but could Tottenham secure progression into the next round by the end of the night?