Will manager Mauricio Pochettino guide Tottenham to their first win against Real Madrid?
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Top spot in Group H is up for grabs as Tottenham travel to Real Madrid on Tuesday night. Mauricio Pochettino says his side will try to “dominate” the Liga giants in their own backyard. Will that backfire? Or will Spurs leave the Bernabeu with a famous victory? Here’s what the stats are suggesting.
Tottenham are winless against Real Madrid in European competition
Spurs have drawn three of their previous four encounters with Real Madrid, drawing the other. Most recently, the sides met in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2010/11: Peter Crouch’s early red card allowed Madrid and two-goal Emmanuel Adebayor to thrash Harry Redknapp’s side 4-0 at the Bernabeu; a Cristiano Ronaldo winner secured a 1-0 win in the second leg at White Hart Lane. Prior to that, Madrid beat Tottenham 1-0 on aggregate in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
Real Madrid have scored in 51 of their last 52 Champions League group games
The champions of Europe have failed to score in only one of their last 52 matches in the competition, drawing 0-0 away to Paris Saint-Germain in October 2015. Meanwhile, Madrid are the side Spurs have faced the most times (four) in European competition without scoring. If this game is anything like Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund on matchday one – an end-to-end thriller that really could have done either way – the chances of a 0-0 draw on Tuesday are very slim.
Tottenham have converted six of their eight shots on target in the Champions League this season
Spurs have won their opening two matches of a Champions League campaign for the first time. One of the key reasons behind their good start is the fact they’ve been clinical in front of goal. The victories over both Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia were tightly contested for the most part, but Tottenham demonstrated attacking efficiency by scoring three times in each game. As a result, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have put themselves in a commanding early position in Group H, already six points clear of Dortmund.
Cristiano Ronaldo has averaged a goal every other game against Spurs in all competitions (eight in 16)
The injured Gareth Bale will miss the chance to face his former side and make his 50th Champions League appearance, but it hardly matters when Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo in their attack. The Ballon d’Or winner has scored in each of his two previous appearances against Spurs in the competition, contributing towards his 94 goals in 90 Champions League games. Ronaldo has already scored four times in two European appearances this term, but he’s not the tournament’s top scorer. I wonder who is…
Harry Kane’s hat-trick against APOEL Nicosia on matchday two was his sixth treble of 2017
Tottenham’s talisman Harry Kane often talks up his hopes of one day winning the Ballon d’Or; bettering Ronaldo’s goal scoring numbers is certainly one way to go about that. He has found the net seven times in just seven five appearances in the competition, and has been directly involved in all six of Spurs’ Champions League goals this term, scoring five and assisting the other. Kane started October with two goals in two games for England, but the striker drew a blank in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Wembley on Saturday.