Champions League

Poch in bullish mood ahead of crucial Barcelona tie

2018-11-29 13:02
Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Spurs can beat Barcelona in their final UEFA Champions League Group B tie on 11 December to progress to the knockout stages.

A Christian Eriksen goal gave the Lilywhites a crucial win on Wednesday against Inter Milan and they now sit second in the standings on seven points, tied with the Italians.

Barca have already qualified for the next stage on 13 points whereas PSV Eindhoven are eliminated at the bottom of the group on a single point.

Nonetheless, despite the Spanish giants having already gone through, Pochettino takes the view that they will still face a highly competitive team at the Camp Nou.

He said: "I expect they'll play with the best players, but I don't know how they'll prepare the game.

"We need to think about us, prepare for the game in the best way, and try to believe we can win. What Barcelona do is not in our hands.

"But, of course, in the Champions League, no one is going to give a present and play and not care about the result.

"It's going to be very competitive but of course they're qualified in first with 13 points. Us and Inter can only arrive with 10 points. All is possible in football.

"But now we need to focus on Arsenal on Sunday [in] another massive game for us. We have big respect for Barcelona, one of the best teams in Europe.

"Of course, they have unbelievable players and it'll be so tough, but one thing we have is our belief and faith we can win.

"We only need to show again a good level to compete at our best. To arrive at Barcelona and compete in our best we need to have fresh legs, fresh minds, no injuries.

"To arrive in that way in Barcelona we need to manage, and we need to rotate the squad. If not, the demands of the Premier League are so tough.

"We're playing Champions League and the cup against Arsenal at the Emirates. Every three days playing games is so tough, so tough for us but for our players so, so difficult. They're not going to have one day off until January."


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