Tottenham Hotspur will aim for an outright win when they travel to France to take on Marseille in the final group match of the UEFA Champions League.

Followed by a spirited win over Bournemouth in the Premier League, Tottenham will be fancying a win over Marseille. This could be the tightest of finishes as anyone could imagine, and Spurs cannot afford to leave empty-handed after putting so much effort to be at this juncture.

VAR drama denied the north Londoners a last-minute winner against Sporting CP. Harry Kane erupted in wild joy as he thought to have sent his team to the knockouts. But after a lengthy review process, VAR ruled out the goal for an offside, with the decision deemed controversial. Antonio Conte is known for his emotional outburst on touchlines, and he could not keep himself calm and was given his marching orders.

The idea is very simple for Tottenham: avoid a defeat and earn a ticket for the knockouts. Spurs are currently leading the Group D standings with eight points, with Sporting CP and Eintracht Frankfurt following them behind with seven points each.

A draw will take them to the next stage, while a win will certainly guarantee the top spot for them. Conte will not be sitting in the dugout for the game as he will be serving a one-game ban. So the onus will be on the Tottenham players to get the job done on the pitch.

Marseille could not take advantage of Sporting’s slip in the last two matches as they suffered a defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Their gameplan will be getting into the skin of the game and earn three points, but the French giants have overseen a torrid run of form recently.

Marseille’s last win incidentally came against Sporting CP in the Champions League. And since then they have endured a winless run of four games in all competitions. Knowing a victory will put send through to the next round should serve, Igor Tudor’s side, who squandered a two-goal lead against Strasbourg, will have enough motivation against Tottenham.

Team News & Tactics


Marseille have a number of players with their Arsenal history. And there would be some added amount of pressure as they are aware of Tottenham’s rivalry with the Gunners in the Premier League.

Eric Bailly will not make it to the match. Otherwise, Igor Tudor has a worthy squad capable of damaging Tottenham on their home turf. Pau Lopez will have to be at his best as Marseille cannot afford any kind of slip-ups from the players.

Sead Kolasinac will partner Chancel Mbemba and Leonardo Balerdi at the heart of the defence, and they will have to be wary of Harry Kane. Jonathan Clauss will shift to his favourite right-hand side, while Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares will try to make his mark from the left.

Valentin Rongier will be called upon to supplement Jordan Veretout in dealing with the midfield issues. Dimitri Payet and Matteo Guendouzi will be lining up in the advanced midfield positions, and Alexis Sanchez is expected to be the sole man ahead.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Lopez; Mbemba, Balerdi, Kolasinac; Clauss, Rongier, Veretout, Tavares; Guendouzi, Payet; Sanchez

Tottenham Hotspur

Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski are out for a while and will unlikely feature before the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The duo has missed training ahead of the trip to Marseille. Hugo Lloris had an eventful day at the Vitality Stadium, and he will again be in the thick of things.

Antonio Conte gave Cristian Romero a much-needed rest. But the Argentine will make a return to the starting eleven and will marshall the backline alongside Eric Dier and Clement Lenglet.

Rodrigo Bentancur netted the desired winner against Bournemouth, and he has emerged as a pivotal player in the midfield alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Matt Doherty will replace Emerson Royal on the right flank, and Ivan Perisic’s experience could come in handy on this occasion.

Lucas Moura might be given a rare chance on the right side of the Tottenham attack, while Son Heung-min will operate from the left flank. Harry Kane has not had much enjoyment in the UEFA Champions League, and he will try to inspire Tottenham to a win over Marseille.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic; Lucas, Kane, Son

Key Stats

  • Marseille and Tottenham’s only previous meeting in European competition came earlier in this season’s UEFA Champions League, with Spurs winning 2-0 on home soil.
  • Marseille are winless in their last nine games against English clubs in the UEFA Champions League (D2 L7), with their last such victory coming in December 2010 in a 1-0 win over Chelsea.
  • Tottenham have played away from home against French sides on six previous occasions in European competition but have failed to win all six (D4 L2). The only one of these games that came in the UEFA Champions League was in November 2016, in a 2-1 defeat to AS Monaco.
  • Having lost six home matches in a row in the UEFA Champions League between March 2012 and November 2020, Marseille have since won two of their last three such matches (L1), including last time out against Sporting CP. They have not won consecutive home matches in this competition since October-December 2010 against MSK Zilina and Chelsea.
  • Tottenham have failed to win any of their last four away matches in the UEFA Champions League. Should they fail to win here, it will be their longest run of games without a win away from home in the competition.

Player to Watch

Rodrigo Bentancur

Rodrigo Bentancur changed the face of the game against Bournemouth with his dynamism and vision. And Antonio Conte will once again rely on his trusted lieutenant to get another man-of-the-match performance in this do-or-die clash. How the Uruguayan international fares against Marseille will go a long way in determining the fate of the match.


Marseille 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Marseille will take an attacking approach from the start against a team that has not really taken their chances away from home. But both sides will be cautious as a loss for either of them can end their UEFA Champions League journey for this season. The Hard Tackle predicts a 1-1 draw, which will send Tottenham to the Round of 16.

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