BetKing Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus: Back Pochettino's side to secure victory

07 March, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring Juventus second and winning goal against Spurs. AFP  Glyn KIRK

Mario Mandzukic has been left out of the Juventus squad travelling to Tottenham Hotspur for their Champions League last-16 decider on Wednesday night, but Gonzalo Higuain has made the 21-man squad.

The Bianconeri will be familiar with the surroundings having already played there in a pre-season friendly back in August.

"When I was at the academy there were two goalkeepers who were my kind of inspiration - Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon - so it's always special when you meet them and play against them".

Tottenham battled back from 2-0 down with goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to earn them a 2-2 draw in Turin last month - a result that means they are favourites to progress.

"If we start to think too much about playing for a draw, especially against an experienced team like Juve, you can be in trouble".

"They respect the philosophy we build and the football we play. We need to feel free".

There is a feeling that Pochettino is on the cusp of something special, but he urges caution, preferring to concentrate exclusively on the job in hand against a club who have reached two of the last three Champions League finals. "We need to think we can win, then what happens will be a effect of our performance".

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"They're strong physically and technically and they will put us under pressure". "For me he's one of the best, with Harry Kane".

"We know it is a big game".

Juventus have Paulo Dybala available again after he missed the first leg through injury and it was revealing that Pochettino mentioned the Argentinian attacker in the same breath as Lionel Messi.

"We can say Wembley is our home and that is so important for the team".

Pochettino said: "I want to send all my condolences to Davide Astori and all the people that love him, and I think it's a massive tragedy".

"Most of the players have been here two, three or four years together and we have many shared experiences", he said. He works hard, scores goals, gives assists, gives great energy and, for me, he's someone who sometimes should get more credit from the outside because in this team, everyone appreciates him a lot'.

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