If you’re a Tottenham fan, then the 90 minutes tonight at the Camp Nou will feel like eternity. Mauricio Pochettino and his side will be playing a do-or-die fixture against FC Barcelona, a side that beat them 4-2 at Wembley.
Unfortunately for Tottenham, their qualification is not in their hands. A win for Internazionale, who host PSV, will complicate matters for Spurs even if the London side wins.
All in all, this is one of the biggest European games that Spurs will be playing in their history.
An uneasy path to the knockout stage for Spurs
The table above represents the complicated path to the knockout stages for Tottenham.
They are on the same goal-difference as Inter, but are placed higher due to away goals against the Nerazzurri. Tottenham’s solitary goal at the San Siro serves as the differentiator between the two sides.
Inter, however, are favored to defeat PSV at home. Which means that Tottenham will have to pull out everything they have to get a win at Camp Nou.
Pochettino is still without his full-strength squad
Davinson Sanchez, Moussa Dembele, Kieran Trippier, Serge Aurier and Victor Wanyama are all out injured. Erik Lamela is doubtful.
The biggest issue for Pochettino is in the right-back spot. With both Trippier and Aurier out, greenhorn Kyle Walker-Peters is slated to start for Spurs. Pochettino’s lack of options from the bench in the midfield and attack will also be a huge hindrance for the London side.
FC Barcelona, too, have major casualties on the defensive end with Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti ruled out. Ernesto Valverde is also expected to field second-string players considering the Catalans have already qualified for the knockout stage.