Champions League: Tottenham-Barcelona clash massive: Pochettino

Updated: Dec 11, 2018, 12:25 IST | AFP | London

Mauricio Pochettino's men have amassed 36 points from 16 Premier League matches, with 12 wins, leaving them in third place behind Liverpool and Manchester City

Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian coach Mauricio Pochettino gives a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 10, 2018 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group B football match FC Barcelona against Tottenham Hotspur. Pic/AFP
Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian coach Mauricio Pochettino gives a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 10, 2018 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group B football match FC Barcelona against Tottenham Hotspur. Pic/AFP

Tottenham are sitting pretty in the Premier League but face a potentially season-defining match against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday. Mauricio Pochettino's men have amassed 36 points from 16 Premier League matches, with 12 wins, leaving them in third place behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

That they have managed that despite playing in their temporary home of Wembley and after a World Cup in which so many of their players featured until the final weekend, makes their achievement all the more impressive. However, with City and Liverpool in such rampant form, few expect Spurs to win the Premier League, putting increased emphasis on their match against the Spanish league leaders in Group B.

Pochettino must somehow find a way past Lionel Messi's Barcelona to reach the knockout stages but he remains positive ahead of the daunting trip to the Camp Nou to face the five-time European champions. "It will be a massive game. They have qualified for the next stage but in the Champions League no one is going to give a present," said the Argentine, who left Harry Kane out of the starting line-up for the 2-0 win away to Leicester on Saturday. "We need to win and deserve to win. The mentality is going to be 200 percent to try to win.

We are going to arrive in the best condition, Barcelona are one of the best teams in Europe." Spurs took just one point from their first three games in Group B, losing to Inter Milan and Barcelona and drawing with PSV. But they beat PSV at home and then scored late through Christian Eriksen to beat Inter 1-0 at Wembley, leaving them in second place on seven points, the same as the Italians. With Barcelona already guaranteed to top the group, Spurs must match Inter's result to guarantee progress.

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