Tottenham face off with Spanish giants Barcelona on Wednesday night. The two clubs will meet at Wembley Stadium on matchday 2 of the Champions League with Tottenham desperately needing points in Group B. Tottenham have recovered their form heading into the match and face off with Barcelona at the perfect time.
Champions League: Tottenham facing Barcelona at the right time
Tottenham have overcome the three-match losing streak they endured just weeks ago. Spurs lost to Watford, Liverpool, and Inter Milan during the three-game run. Their Champions League encounter with Inter was especially painful for the club. Tottenham led until the 86th minute when Inter mounted a comeback against the run of play to win, 2-1.
Since their loss, Tottenham have won three straight matches in all competitions. In comparison, Barcelona have gone winless in their last three fixtures. The Catalans are struggling and once again their reliance on Lionel Messi is evident.
Last week, Barcelona dropped seven points from a possible nine in La Liga. They drew 2-2 with Girona before losing to La Liga’s bottom dwellers Leganes, 2-1, in midweek. On Saturday, Barcelona were heading for a second consecutive loss at the hands of Athletic Bilbao until Munir El Haddadi scored in the 84th minute. Of course, the man who created the goal was Messi.
The Argentine didn’t start the fixture against Athletic Club and only came on for the last 35 minutes. Without Messi, Barcelona fired blanks throughout. The team’s performance without Messi once again showed just how Barcelona will struggle when he finally hangs up his boots.
Tottenham will play Barcelona at the perfect time. Barcelona are being outplayed by average to poor teams in Spain. The three clubs to take points off of Barcelona last week are in 10th place or lower in Spain. The three teams have a total of four wins between them, one fewer win than Tottenham. Of course, comparing leagues is like comparing apples and oranges. But the fact remains, Wednesday night is the perfect time for Spurs to meet La Liga’s reigning champions.
Champions League: Barcelona leaves three first-team players out
Barcelona’s 20-man travelling squad for Wednesday night’s match raised plenty of eyebrows when it was released. Centre-back Samuel Umtiti will miss the fixture through suspension. He is also injured and wouldn’t have been selected if available.
Meanwhile, right-back Sergi Roberto was left out of the team due to a thigh injury.
The biggest eyebrow-raising omission was that of Brazilian Malcom. The winger signed in the summer for £36.5 million. Barcelona influenced Malcom to forgo signing for Roma at the 11th hour to join them instead. Since making the move to Camp Nou, however, Malcom has failed to impress. He has played just twice in La Liga this term.
Tottenham famously took four points from six against Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League. Spurs will hope to do the same against Barcelona this time around. Harry Kane and company have recovered their form and will test Barcelona with their attacking play.
Tottenham are still missing attacking midfielder Dele Alli, but they may have goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen back in time for kick off. Spurs will need the duo when they take the pitch at Wembley.
Will Tottenham defeat Barcelona in the Champions League?