Tottenham Hotspur will need a win to secure their path to the next stage of the Champions League when they host Sporting CP on Wednesday.
Sporting CP inflicted an uncharacteristic defeat on Tottenham in the reverse fixture. And Spurs will be hurrying for a win as a crucial three points would ease them to breathing space.
Tottenham’s brilliant run has somewhat started getting diminished as back-to-back defeats in the Premier League have left them reeling in the third position. Newcastle United, Chelsea and Manchester United are now right behind Spurs, and any further collapse would put a severe doubt on their top-four ambitions.
Tottenham will only have themselves to blame if they falter to get into the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League from this juncture. And Antonio Conte will want to bypass the difficulties to make their European campaign a grand success.
Sporting’s Champions League hope is clinging on a bare thread and they need to guarantee a win to have any chance of qualifying for the next round. Only three points might not be enough for them as they need to wait till the final matchday to determine their fortunes.
Consecutive defeats against Marseille have put pressure on Ruben Amorim, who was recently linked with the Aston Villa job. A spell of a winning run could still revive Sporting’s season, and they need to get the job done on Wednesday.
Their 2-0 win over Tottenham is still fresh in everyone’s memories. But this time, Sporting will have to raid Spurs’ home in an attempt to grind out a much-needed win. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 25, 2022
Antonio Conte has confirmed that Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison will be missing the match as they are currently sidelined with long-term injuries. Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed Tottenham’s visit to Newcastle United. But the duo might be in contention to feature in this important clash.
Hugo Lloris was pretty error-prone in the defeat to Newcastle, and he might want to avenge his mistakes with a competent display. Romero should partner Clement Lenglet and Davinson Sanchez in the three-man defence.
Emerson Royal will be the right wing-back, while Ivan Perisic should come into the lineup for his massive experience. Hojbjerg should be fit to take his place in the midfield. The Dane will have the assistance of Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma, with Conte looking crowd the midfield to stop Sporting’s intent. Finally, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min will form the strike partnership for Tottenham.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lloris; Sanchez, Romero, Lenglet; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Bissouma, Perisic; Kane, Son
Problems are mounting for Ruben Amorim as Luis Neto, Daniel Braganca, Sebastian Coates and Jeremiah St. Juste are all set to miss the clash. In addition, the manager will not be able to avail the service of Ricardo Esgaio and Pedro Goncalves as they will be serving their respective suspensions.
— Sporting CP English (@SportingCP_en) October 24, 2022
Antonio Adan should serve his duty between the sticks. In front of Adan, Goncalo Inacio will line up alongside Matheus Reis and Jose Marsa in the central defensive unit. Pedro Porro will be dealing with his adversaries from the right wing-back position, while Nuno Santos will start on the opposite flank.
Manuel Ugarte, who recently emerged on Tottenham’s radar, and Hidemasa Morita will form the two-man midfield which will be scanning through the Tottenham lineup for that perfect pass. Finally, Francisco Trincao and Marcus Edwards will operate from just behind the main striker Paulinho.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Adan; Inacio, Marsa, Reis; Porro, Ugarte, Morita, Santos; Trincao, Edwards; Paulinho
- Tottenham Hotspur and Sporting CP have only faced once previously, with the Portuguese giants winning 2-0 on Matchday 2 of this season’s UEFA Champions League.
- Sporting CP have won just two of their 15 away matches in England in European competition (D4 L9), beating Southampton 4-2 in the UEFA Cup in October 1981 and Middlesbrough 3-2 in March 2005, also in the UEFA Cup.
- Tottenham have won six of their seven home European matches against Portuguese opposition (including qualifiers), with their one defeat coming against Benfica in March 2014 in the UEFA Europa League.
- Since the start of the 2019/20 season, Tottenham’s ten games in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League have seen a total of 41 goals scored (23 for, 18 against), at an average of 4.1 per game.
- Harry Kane has scored 21 goals in 28 appearances for Spurs in the UEFA Champions League. If he finds the net in this game, he will move into the outright top five English scorers in the competition’s history, overtaking Steven Gerrard (21).
Player to Watch
Harry Kane has not replicated his Premier League form in the UEFA Champions League. So the onus will be on him to get the better of Sporting CP on Wednesday. The 29-year-old is yet to hit the breakthrough in the continental competition, and this could be his day.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Sporting CP
Sporting CP will be missing a number of players and Tottenham will not have a better opportunity to pile more misery on the Portuguese club. The Hard Tackle predicts another battling performance by Spurs, but this one should end with three points. We go with a 2-0 win for Antonio Conte’s charges.