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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Real Madrid, 01.11.17

Real Madrid 1 Spurs 1 - 17.11.2017
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Spurs' record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
 
U.E.F.A Champions League
 
 P  W   D   L   F - A
21  9   5   7  38 - 27
 
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
 
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
 
European Cup Winners Cup
 
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
 
(Winners 1963)
 
UEFA Cup/Europa League
 P    W   D   L   F - A
140  78  36  26  276-121 
 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
 The club logo of Real Madrid
Total
P    W   D   L   F - A
202 111 47  44  400-195

 Group H Table 
		       P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts
1. Real Madrid  3  2  1  0  7-2   5   7
2. Spurs        3  2  1  0  7-2   5   7
3. Dortmund     3  0  1  2  3-7  -4   1
4. APOEL        3  0  1  2  1-7  -6   

A decisive (perhaps historic) moment looms

Arguably there has been a decisive moment in every match so far in Spurs' Group H Champions League campaign. Beating Borussia Dortmund on Matchday One certainly set us on the path to success, and that was confirmed with the 3-0 win against APOEL in Cyprus. We gave one of our best European performances in years in The Bernebeu two weeks ago on Simply one of the best Tottenham nights. The first match between these two sides was billed as possibly the decisive game of the group, but that was drawn, and if there is a winner here tomorrow, then qualification to the Round of 16 would be ensured, and perhaps also the position as Group leaders. High stakes indeed!

A record crowd for Spurs at Wembley is on the cards, or at least one very close to last year's 85,512 against Bayer Leverkusen. It is sure to be a great atmosphere, and this time it will be Spurs wearing the all-white strip. The great news is that Harry Kane trained today, and that Mauricio Pochettino is said to be "very confident" that our top scoring striker will "take part". A little worryingly, the words "take part" were used and not the word "start". We'll just have to wait and see, but I do wonder if ultimate caution was being exercised by leaving Kane out at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Davinson Sanchez was also unused on the bench at Old Trafford, and we simply have to "trust in Poch", who must have a special game plan for what would be a historic win, as well as decisive.

This will be the sixth competitive meeting between the two sides. The story of our 1985 UEFA Cup quarter-final meeting with Real Madrid is told well in The Guardian, and it is certainly true to say that the tie was disastrous for the legendary Steve Perryman, who scored an unfortunate own goal in the first leg, which turned out to be the decisive goal, and then got sent off at The Bernebeu.

We all remember too well what happened when the two teams met in the Champions League quarter-final 6 1/2 years ago, so having drawn two weeks ago, we will be seeking our first competitive win against "Los Blancos". What a night that would be!

Having lost the first leg in 2011 4-0 in Spain, we faced an impossible uphill task when Real came to White Lane in April 2011. Not one player who represented Spurs that night remains with the club today, but of course two of our team are Real Madrid men these days. Those are Modric and Bale, one of whom is likely to play tomorrow (Modric); the other (Bale) will again be absent due to his calf injury. Real are also missing their first choice keeper Navas, and defender Varane (who scored the own goal in the first game).

Both teams lost at the week-end. At least the Spurs defeat at Old Trafford was to a fellow title contender, whereas Real suffered a rare defeat to bottom half side Girona. Both teams are 8 points behind their league leaders after 10 games. Both have amassed 20 points so far. Spurs will be a little fresher, having played Saturday lunchtime, whereas Real's game was on Sunday afternoon.

Apart from the strong possibility that Kane will play, Spurs are also boosted by the return to action in Champions League football of Dele Alli, after serving his three-match ban.

Could it be that Mauricio Pochettino has kept some of his powder dry for this game, rather than risk all at Old Trafford? The non-involvement of Sanchez certainly suggests that. It's no use me predicting the team, but I suspect we will play very much in the style deployed in Madrid and against Liverpool. Like all of you, I dream of a win, but I suspect we will have to make do with less. I'll certainly accept another draw.

Match referee Cuneyt Cakir is not an unfamiliar face to Spurs. Mr. Cakir was in charge of our home Europa League match against Borussia Dortmiund in March 2016, and our away Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen in October last year. One of the additional assistants has also refereed us before - away to Fiorentina in February, 2015. All the on-field match officialas are from Turkey.

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - On this date 20 years ago, Spurs lost at home to Leeds. A player who subsequently played for Leeds, Spurs and Real Madrid was centre-back Jonathan Woodgate, who scored our winning League Cup Final goal against Chelsea in 2008.

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