Barcelona welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Camp Nou in the UEFA Champions League this week. Tottenham have a chance to qualify for the knockout stages if they can overcome a refreshed Barcelona side.
Pochettino’s side have a chance of qualifying, but to do that they have to take on one of the tournament favourites who have already qualified and stay top of Group B.
Barcelona come into this match with top spot, having already secured qualification. They were the first to reach the knockout rounds in the entire league, dispatching teams like Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven and this week’s opponents.
Barca who have won the competition 5 times dropped only two points in the competition so far, and even their draw at the San Siro was enough to seal their progress before victory over PSV last time out secured top spot.
Ernesto Velverde’s boys will try to be professional against Tottenham as they seek to win the competition again. Lionel Messi, who scored two fantastic free-kicks in last weekend’s 4-0 win against Espanyol is poised to start the match and will definitely be one to watch.
The Spanish giants have a formidable record at the Camp Nou in this competition and could equal the longest home unbeaten streak in Champions League history on Tuesday night should they extend their run to 29 matches.
Phillipe Coutinho could be recalled in place of Ousmane Dembele and of-course Lionel Messi will start the match.
Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets are also set to be given the nod as Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto remain absent due to injury.
Barcelona possible starting eleven:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Tottenham face a daunting task of qualifying for the knockout stages. They must either equal or score more than Inter Milan in their match against PSV to get to the knockout stages.
Spurs have squandered matches and lost points in some matches both home and away to Inter and PSV. They must now find a winning formular and defeat Barcelona or get ready to play in the Europa League in the New Year.
Valverde’s side have looked far from invincible this season, but Spurs have only won four of their last 17 European away games and have picked up just the one point from their two in the current campaign.
Mousa Dembele, Erik Lamela, Davinson Sanchez and Victor Wanyama remain injured while Juan Foyth was not included in the Champions League list.
Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Kyle Walker-Peters could start at right back due to Injuries to both Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier.
Tottenham possible starting eleven:
Lloris; Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Winks, Dier; Son, Alli, Eriksen; Kane
Head To Head
These two sides had only met twice before this season, with those matches coming in the semi-finals of the 1981-82 Cup Winners’ Cup. Barca won a match and both teams playing a draw in the second.
Lionel Messi scored twice in a 4-2 thumping of Tottenham in the reverse fixture of this match in matchday 2.