Champions League

Spurs leaning on Wembley home comforts to oust Juventus

2018-03-04 16:51
Mauricio Pochettino (Getty Images)

London - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes turning his side's temporary Wembley home into a fortress can ensure progress to the Champions League quarter-finals when they host Juventus on Wednesday.

Spurs hold the upper hand on the Italian champions, who have reached the final in two of the past three seasons, after battling back from 2-0 down in Turin in the first leg to salvage a 2-2 draw.

The Wembley factor was cited as one of the key reasons for Spurs' failure in Europe last season as they crashed out of both the Champions League and Europa League at the first time of asking.

However, Pochettino's men have acclimatised during the course of a season at the home of English football whilst work on the club's new 62,000 capacity stadium is completed.

Son Heung-Min struck twice as Tottenham eased past Huddersfield 2-0 on Saturday, extending their unbeaten run at Wembley in all competitions to 15 games.

That stretch has included landmark wins over Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal.

"I am so pleased. I think it is a fantastic run at home," said Pochettino.

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

"Last season was a strange feeling but now I think for us it is like our home. The team feel good playing here and when the results are positive everything is much better."

Son has felt those home comforts more than most as 13 of his 15 goals this season have come at Wembley.

"We feel comfortable at Wembley, we know how we play here," said the South Korean.

"Of course it was going to take time but now we feel like we're at home. We enjoy playing here."

Victory over Huddersfield kept Spurs in the driving seat for a return to the Champions League next season as they opened up a five-point lead on fifth-placed Chelsea.

And despite the contrasting levels of European experience between his side and Juventus, Pochettino believes Spurs have worked too hard in recent seasons to establish themselves in the Champions League to freeze on the big stage.

"In the end is a football game and we are going to enjoy it," he continued.

"It is an amazing competition the Champions League, but I think we fight a lot the last few years to be there and get to play this type of games."

Spurs have already shown they have the ability to outplay Juventus in the first leg as they shrugged off the blow of conceding twice to Gonzalo Higuain inside the first 10 minutes.

The visitors went on to dominate possession and were more than worthy of their two away goals through Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.

"Our approach will be the same that we played in Turin," added Pochettino.

"You need to feel free feel, happy and enjoy the game."

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 01 October 2019
Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Siro 18:55
Real Madrid v Club Brugge, Santiago Bernabeu 18:55
Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Stadium 21:00
Red Star Belgrade v Olympiacos, Stadion Rajko Mitic 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Munchen, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Paris SG, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 02 October 2019
Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund, Eden Arena 18:55
Genk v Napoli, Luminus Arena 18:55
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Inter Milan, Camp Nou 21:00
Valencia v Ajax, Mestalla 21:00
RB Leipzig v Lyon, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Zenit St. Petersburg v Benfica, Saint Petersburg Stadium 21:00
Lille v Chelsea, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Shakhtar Donetsk v Dinamo Zagreb, Metalist Stadium 18:55
Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen, Wanda Metropolitano 18:55
Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Atalanta, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Club Brugge v Paris SG, Jan Breydel Stadion 21:00
Olympiacos v Bayern Munchen, Karaiskakis Stadium 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Real Madrid, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Ajax v Chelsea, Amsterdam ArenA 18:55
RB Leipzig v Zenit St. Petersburg, Red Bull Arena 18:55
Benfica v Lyon, da Luz 21:00
Slavia Prague v Barcelona, Eden Arena 21:00
Genk v Liverpool, Luminus Arena 21:00
Red Bull Salzburg v Napoli, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund, San Siro 21:00
Lille v Valencia, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 05 November 2019
Barcelona v Slavia Prague, Camp Nou 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Genk, Anfield 22:00
Lyon v Benfica, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Valencia v Lille, Mestalla 22:00
Napoli v Red Bull Salzburg, San Paolo 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Ajax, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
Bayern Munchen v Olympiacos, Allianz Arena 19:55
Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Atalanta v Manchester City, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid, BayArena 22:00
Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk, Maksimir Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Club Brugge, Parc des Princes 22:00
Real Madrid v Galatasaray, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
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