Champions League preview: Barcelona vs Tottenham Hotspur

Barcelona entertain Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou in their final group stage game of the Champions League. The Blaugrana are already through to the knockout phase of the competition with the top spot assured but they still have plenty of stake on Tuesday night where they could oust Spurs from the competition while preserving their eight-year unbeaten European record at their stadium.

What happened in the previous matchday?

Barcelona cemented their progress into the knockout phase during the previous encounter against PSV on the road. The Blaugrana dominated the proceedings in terms of the possession but they had to have their keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in good form to restrict the scoring. Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique netted during the second half of the game before Luuk de Jong bagged the consolation strike for PSV eight minutes from time.

Tottenham, meanwhile, were playing for their survival in the Champions League when they entertained Inter Milan at the Wembley Stadium. Spurs appeared on course to bow out of the competition for vast parts of the game before Moussa Sissoko’s powerful run enabled substitute Christian Eriksen to score the winner in the 80th minute. The victory saw Spurs turn the tables by leapfrogging Inter to the second spot with the better head-to-head record.

Player to watch for:

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur: While the general focus will be on Lionel Messi, Kane has a crucial role to play for Spurs, if they are to progress beyond the group phase of the competition. The England international was afforded some rest over the weekend as he was only a late substitute in the 2-0 win over Leicester City and this should keep him afresh for the big challenge at the Camp Nou, where Spurs may have to inflict a European defeat on Barcelona for the first time in eight years. Kane netted in the previous outing between the sides and Spurs will be hoping that he can secure the crucial winner, should Inter win their meeting against PSV.

Prediction:

Barcelona are likely to ponder resting a few players from the starting lineup and that may include Lionel Messi after manager Ernesto Valverde offered no assurances of his appearance from the off. That be said, the Blaugrana still possess good quality throughout the pitch and we are anticipating a share of the spoils on Tuesday.

Barcelona 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Image – Getty