Tottenham resume Champions League action on Tuesday as they travel to Italy to take on Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Both sides come into the clash in buoyant form, with Spurs boosted by a derby victory over Arsenal at Wembley over the weekend.
Juventus, meanwhile, have been playing with a ruthlessness that was lacking in their early-season displays and they have not lost a game since last November.
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Buffon, Pinsoglio, Szczesny|
|Defenders||De Sciglio, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro, Barzagli, Rugani, Lichtsteiner|
|Midfielders||Pjanic, Khedira, Cuadrado, Marchisio, Costa, Matuidi, Asamoah, Sturaro, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Merio, Caligara|
|Forwards||Higuain, Dybala, Mandzukic|
Juventus are expected to be without a number of key players for the visit of Spurs with Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi among those carrying injuries. Stephan Lichtsteiner has also been ruled out, while the injured Benedikt Howedes is not in the Champions League squad.
Andrea Barzagli is also a doubt and the defender trained separately to the rest of the squad ahead of the game.
Potential Juventus starting XI: Buffon; Rugani, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro; Marchisio, Pjanic, Khedira; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Mandzukic.
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Whiteman|
|Defenders||Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Aurier, Davies, Walker-Peters|
|Midfielders||Lamela, Wanyama, Dier, Sissoko, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Lucas, Winks, Georgiou, Oakley-Boothe|
|Forwards||Son, Kane, Llorente, Sterling|
Toby Alderweireld will sit out the game against Juventus as he works to regain full fitness following injury, as will Kyle Walker-Peters.
Juan Foyth and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou are not part of the club’s Champions League panel, but Pochettino has an otherwise full selection to choose from.
Potential Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Trippier, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Davies; Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane.
Tottenham’s Champions League exploits this season have forced the rest of Europe to sit up and take notice. Convincing victories over Borussia Dortmund and reigning champions Real Madrid have shown that the Premier League outfit belong at that level and they will be eager to extend their foray into the competition.
Central to any success they might have in the competition will be the likes of Harry Kane, who has surged out in front in the race for the European Golden Shoe, and his supporting cast of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son. In those individuals, Pochettino has forged a mesmerising front-four and they are undoubtedly a match for the continent’s elite.
Similarly to Spurs, Juventus have recovered from a wobbly start to the season to surge back into the reckoning domestically and they come into the last-16 match with a 16-game unbeaten streak under their belts. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that Massimiliano Allegri’s side have conceded just once in that period and they have won their last 11 games.
Therefore, the encounter between Juve and Spurs is essentially a showdown between Europe’s best strike-force and its best defence – the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. That would suggest that they will cancel each other out, but, knock-out matches are anything but predictable.
With nearly a month to wait for the second leg – on March 7 – both sides will be doing everything they can to lay down an early marker as they look to ensure their place among the last eight of Europe’s elite.