2016/17 Champions League
Published: 11:59 13/04/2011
Tottenham entertain Real Madrid at White Hart Lane on Wednesday needing a miracle to progress to the semi final of the UEFA Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid won 4-0 in the first leg of last week’s Champions League quarter final at the Bernabeu meaning Tottenham will need to pull off one of the biggest ever comebacks for the right to face Barcelona in the semi final.
Spurs’ first Champions League journey has been a dramatic adventure and Harry Redknapp has inspired his side to comeback from the brink on more than one occasion. The most notable, against Inter in the group stage when fighting back from a 4-0 half time deficit in the San Siro to lose 4-3. Spurs went on to trounce the defending champions 3-1 at White Hart Lane to become surprise group winners. No team has ever come back from such a heavy first leg defeat in the knock out stages of the Champions League and Unibet’s odds of 64/1 for Spurs to qualify for the semi final, just about sums up their chances on Wednesday.
The mood in the Tottenham camp has remained upbeat and the team would like nothing better than to go out on a high in front of their own fans. The White Hart Lane crowd will be lending its tumultuous support and while Real played mostly against ten men in Madrid they will feel they are taking on twelve in North London. Real Madrid don’t need to win this, but Spurs have pride at stake. Victor Chandler stands out offering odds of 9/4 for Tottenham to win the game.
Peter Crouch was sent off early in last week’s game and is suspended for the return fixture, which leaves Jermaine Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko as Redknapp’s options to play up front. Defoe replaced Rafael van der Vaart in the second half and could get the nod; the England international is available at odds of 13/2 to break the deadlock with most bookmakers, including Boylesports who gives punters a second bite of the cherry with its Every 2nd Counts promotion on the match.
Aaron Lennon will feel he has something to prove after pulling out due to sickness when waiting to run out for the start of the first leg, he missed the win against Stoke at the weekend but is available after training with the squad on Tuesday.
Tom Huddlestone and Younes Kaboul come into the reckoning after returning from injury and Steven Pienaar is clear to play having shrugged off a groin problem.
Vedran Corluka and Niko Krancjar were absent from training and it appears their respective injuries (ankle and foot) have not yet cleared up.
Emmanuel Adebayor was Madrid’s first leg hero scoring the first two goals, but could face competition for the striker’s role from Karim Benzema who has returned to training following his absence with a torn hamstring and Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain who replaced the former Arsenal striker for the final fifteen minutes last week.
Mourinho will be without Pepe who is suspended after receiving a yellow card in the first leg and Lassana Diarra (hip), Pedro Leon (knee) and Fernando Gago (groin) are sidelined.