Tottenham will be gunning for maximum points against PSV Eindhoven in order to keep alive their ambitions of making the Champions League knockout stages.
Spurs travel to the Eredivisie champions on Wednesday following back-to-back defeats in Group B against Inter Milan and Barcelona.
PSV also lost their opening two games, meaning their chances of qualification are hanging by a thread as well.
Charlie’s Champions League predictions
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has described the game as “must-win”, adding: “I think it’s so important if we want to be alive in the competition.”
Despite their form in Europe, Spurs have won their last four games in the Premier League and conceded just two goals.
PSV have made a flying start to their domestic season, winning all nine of their Eredivisie matches so far, but head coach Mark van Bommel agrees with Pochettino that this is a crucial clash.
“Winning means you are still in the group, but if you lose it’s almost over,” he said.
“Spurs have a lot of quality players and weapons to win games, but we have that also. In my opinion Inter Milan, Barcelona and Tottenham are almost equal, there are no big differences.”
Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen remain out for Tottenham.
However, Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele are available to start. Eriksen had missed four games with an abdominal injury before coming on as a late substitute at West Ham on Saturday, while Dembele also came off the bench after recovering from a thigh problem.
Ryan Thomas is expected to be PSV’s only absentee with a knee injury.
- The only previous meetings between PSV and Tottenham were in the last 16 of the 2007-08 UEFA Cup. Both sides won 1-0 away from home, before PSV progressed 6-5 via penalty shootout.
- PSV have won just two of their last 15 Champions League games against English opponents (vs Arsenal in February 2007 and Man Utd in September 2015), having won their first three such matches in the competition.
- PSV are winless in each of their last 10 Champions League games (D4 L6), their worst-ever run in the competition.
- Spurs have lost their last three European matches, all in the Champions League – they’ve never lost four consecutive major European matches in a row.
- Only Viktoria Plzen (7) have conceded more goals in this season’s Champions League than both PSV and Spurs (6).
- Spurs are the first English side to lose their opening two Champions League group stage games since Arsenal in 2015-16; only two English sides have lost their opening three group games – Newcastle United in 2002-03 (first group stage) and Blackburn Rovers in 1995-96.
- Should either PSV or Spurs lose this match, only one team has ever lost their opening three group-stage Champions League games and qualified for the next round – Newcastle United in 2002-03, in the first group stage.
It’s must-win time for Tottenham now because they’re chasing the group now. So they have got to play their strongest team and really go for it now, regardless of them playing Man City on Monday Night Football.
There’s a few issues there but Spurs have got to win this game and I think they will do just that here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-3 (16/1 with Sky Bet)
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