Tottenham have the chance to bounce-back from their matchday two horror-show against Bayern when they welcome Red Star Belgrade to North London on Tuesday night, but they would be foolish t0 underestimate their opponents.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side, runners-up in the Champions League last season, have taken just one point from their opening two games in Group B and know that anything other than victory here would leave them staring elimination from the group stages full in the face.
Spurs will still be raw from the 7-2 drubbing they suffered last time out against Bayern Munich – the heaviest home defeat any English club had ever suffered in European competition – and the first time in the club’s 137-year history that they had conceded seven times at home in any tournament.
They haven’t fared much better domestically either, having been beaten on penalties by League Two Colchester United in the EFL Cup before going down 3-0 to Brighton and then needing a late goal to avoid a home defeat to bottom of the league Watforld on Saturday.
Strangely, despite making it all the way to the final last season, Spurs have won just one of their last six matches in this competition, conceding 18 goals in that time and although they have endured a poor start to the competition this campaign they are in a better place than 12 months ago.
That’s because Pochettino’s men lost their opening two games and had just one point after three before eventually going on to progress to the knockout stages and make it all the way to Madrid where they eventually lost to Liverpool in the final.
TOTTENHAM TO BEAT RED STAR AND BTTS AT 2.40*
Tottenham’s woes haven’t been helped by their indifferent home form this season won three of their last 10 matches at their new stadium – losing half of those – so an improvement in front of their own fans is a must if they are to progress in the Champions League once more.
However, Red Star will be no pushovers and the visitors arrive in London full of confidence following a six-match winning streak which has seen them score 21 goals as well as putting in some pretty decent performances.
They enjoyed a 3-1 triumph over Olympiacos on matchday two , a results which puts them second in Group B behind Bayern Munich – a team they lost 3-0 away on matchday one with two late goals ruining what was a pretty good showing on the night.
And it shouldn’t be forgotten that Red Star actually defeated eventual Champions League winners Liverpool 12-months ago and have once again earned their place in the competition reaching the group stages from the very first round of qualifying.
However, Red Star’s best moments over the last year have mostly come on home soil and on their travels they have lost all three games and conceded 13 goals – meaning they are now nine games without an away European victory including the qualification rounds and can be backed at at 10.50* to end that run here.
Even so, they know how to win and have no trouble finding the net, so against a Spurs team who are out of form and seemingly low on confidence, a home win is certainly not a formality at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday night.
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