Wednesday, October 3 – 8:00p.m Local time – Wembley Stadium, London, United Kingdom
There will be some midweek net bursting action when Tottenham Hotspur locks horns with Barcelona in Match Day 2 of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.
Spurs are set to play host to the La Liga champions on Wednesday night for the second match of Group B of the competition.
Mauricio Pochettino’s charges warmed up to Barcelona’s visit with a 2-0 win on the road against Huddersfield Town. Harry Kane, who has quite predictably endured a quieted start to the campaign, inspired his side to victory by scoring both goals in the first half.
The adventurous Lucas Moura made a marauding run into the Huddersfield area but was swift enough to lay it back to Kieran Trippier, who delivered an inch perfect cross to Kane from the right wing; the 25-year old putting away a header in the 25th minute without so much as breaking a sweat.
If Kane’s opening goal was simplistic and facile, then his second of the day would certainly be handed on a silver platter. Danny Rose and Son Heung-min had a clever interchange on the edge of the left flank, but the England fullback won a penalty after what appeared like the faintest of contacts by defender Florent Hadergjonaj in the 34th minute. Kane stepped up to the mark and sent goalkeeper Jonas Lossl the wrong way, thereby setting up a healthy two-goal cushion for the visitors.
Save for Laurent Depoitre’s unlucky hit at the crossbar, Huddersfield couldn’t muster any threatening chances throughout the second interval, and were thus condemned to a staggering fifth defeat in seven games; one that has them rooted to the foot of the table.
In Spain, it was a rare case of football royalty being outdone by a team that has won next to nothing in recent years, as Barcelona were forced to a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou. Contrary to previous outcomes in the tie, the visitors flipped the script through Oscar de Marcos who connected with Markel Susaeta’s inviting cross to deliver a sumptuous first time finish to the back post four minutes before the break.
Lionel Messi, who had began the day on the bench, was called upon soon after the restart to try and salvage the potentially embarrassing outcome, but it was another substitute, Munir El Haddadi who rescued a point for the hosts.
The Spaniard dragged Barcelona back into the match when he tapped in the equalizer six minutes to stoppage time, but the Blaugrana had no distinct advantage in the minutes that ensued; forcibly settling for the miniature yet still useful point.
Despite the draw, Barca still maintains their place at the helm of the Spanish top division on 14 points from seven games, albeit ahead of second placed Real Madrid on goal difference. Given the impatient, bordering on spoilt, nature of fans at the Nou Camp, inquest has already began over the club’s recent plateau that has allowed title rivals Real Madrid to catch up with them.
Ernesto Valverde’s side has yet to register a win since trouncing PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in their Champions League opener, as they have gone on to draw 2-2 with Girona and fallen to shock 2-1 defeat away to Leganes prior to last weekend.
Spurs have a number of injury concerns to cope with early on in the season, with as many as six first team players poised to miss Barcelona’s visit.
Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele missed Tuesday’s training having come off with injuries during Saturday’s win over the Terriers, while Dele Alli and Serge Aurier have been ruled out until after the coming international break with a hamstring and thigh strain respectively.
Skipper Hugo Lloris could start between the sticks after recovering from a thigh injury that has kept him out since August, but his backup keeper Michel Vorm is out with a knee injury. Christian Eriksen also remains sidelined having sat out the last two games with a stomach problem.
For Barcelona, Samuel Umtiti has missed the trip to the English capital as the Frenchman is both injured and suspended for the clash, as has Sergi Roberto who picked up an injury over the weekend.
Barcelona vs. Tottenham betting predictions
Barcelona’s domestic winless run may have stretched to three games, but the La Liga powerhouse more often than not turns up on European nights. Spurs on the hand have been rough around the edges since the season began, being fourth on the standing and four points behind leaders Manchester City, but the EPL outfit has been regaining stride and will unequivocally be willed forward by the Wembley crowd.
|Best Bets||Odds||Bet Now|
|Either team to win||-400 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|Total match goals over 2.5||-188.68 at William Hill||Place Bet|
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Barcelona recent results
Barcelona 2-2 Tottenham (July 29, 2018)
Munir El Haddadi 15′
Arthur Melo 29′
Son Heung-min 73′
Georges-Kevin N’Koudou 75′
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