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Tottenham Hotspur can cause Barcelona upset, says manager

Barca top the group with 13 points ahead of Spurs and Inter on seven and PSV with one. 

Tottenham Hotspur can cause Barcelona upset, says manager
Image Credits: Twitter/@SpursOfficial

Tottenham Hotspur can defeat group winners Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday to join them in the Champions League knockout stage, their upbeat coach Mauricio Pochettino has said.

Spurs need to equal or better Inter Milan`s result at home to already-eliminated PSV Eindhoven to clinch a last-16 spot that looked improbable after just one point from their opening three group games before consecutive home wins over PSV and Inter.

"If we don`t get through it`s because we won`t have deserved it," Pochettino told a news conference."Perhaps we deserved more in Eindhoven (a 2-2 draw) and Milan (a 2-1 loss) but we`ve got to this game with things in our own hands and we know that we need to win and that`s that," he added.

Pochettino’s opposite number Ernesto Valverde said earlier that he would make a number of changes to his team with Barca already qualified in top spot from Group B but Tottenham`s coach is taking nothing for granted.

“We’re going to be ready to compete in the best condition that we can,” added Pochettino. “I’m optimistic, I think we come here at our best and we need to prepare and think about the game we are going to play, not what Barca will do."

“Barcelona have a great team of 24 players with great quality. To be one of the best teams in the world you need a squad who can show their quality, and they are all here because they deserve to be," he further said. 


Having beaten Leicester City 2-0 away in the Premier League with a rotated XI, Pochettino is expected to recall talismanic striker Harry Kane, who was rested.
He indicated that he would make changes given the gruelling schedule English sides face over the Christmas period.

“We’re playing 12 games in 40 days and have no pause in December,” said the Spurs boss. “If you don’t rotate it’s difficult, but what Tottenham offers players is the opportunity to grow and play well in the same way no matter who is playing.”

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris said that Barcelona would give his team a tough game, no matter what changes they make. “It’s always a special game to play against Barca in the Nou Camp, it’s a special place, one of the best,” the French keeper said. 

“The context is different for us and them, but they know that when you wear a Barca shirt you’re obliged to win whatever the context, and they’ll want to do that.It won’t be easy but the most important thing is that we believe in our chances of getting through and play with 100 percent belief that we can do it.

"It’s very difficult to stop a player like Lionel Messi, and if we can do that we will need to as a team and have to put in a big performance.”

Barca top the group with 13 points ahead of Spurs and Inter on seven and PSV with one. Tottenham are above Inter on their head-to-head record having lost 2-1 away and won 1-0 at home.