A win over Olympicaos on Tuesday will see Spurs through to the last-16 of the Champions League and Harry Kane believes there is nobody better to lead them through the knockout stages than the man who has won this competition on two occasions.
Jose Mourinho began his tenure with a 3-2 win over West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday having replaced Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday – a first for Spurs away from home in the League since January – but his attentions will now shift to a competition he has won twice before.
The new manager will be more than aware that a good run in the Champions League is key to chairman Daniel Levy’s vision for the club and will want their place in the last-16 confirmed before a trip to Bayern Munich in matchday six.
Spurs reached the final last May where they were eventually beaten by Liverpool in Madrid, but with a serial winner now at the helm can be backed at 26.00* to go one better this time around.
Under Pochettino, Spurs finished second in the Premier League in 2016/17, runners-up in the 2014/15 League Cup and lost last season’s Champions League final to Liverpool but a poor start to the season saw him lose his job with Tottenham a lowly 12thin the Premier League.
The Portuguese has won 20 major trophies, including the Champions League with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010, and with Tottenham without a trophy since securing the League Cup in 2008 the Champions League might well be where his focus lies.
“The gaffer’s won at every club he’s gone to – there’s no hiding away from that,” Spurs’ skipper Harry Kane told BBC Sport.
“Realistically we look at the Champions League and the FA Cup this season to try to do that, so we’ll see how that goes and then from my point of view I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, keep fighting for this club on the pitch.
“We all want to win. We wanted to win when Mauricio was here; we want to win the same now the gaffer’s here, but of course when someone’s got a reputation like he has, it gives you confidence, it gives you that belief in the team.”
Mourinho is likely to field a similar side to that which beat West Ham at the weekend, although Danny Rose is expected to deputise at left-back in the absence of Ben Davies, while they are still without the services of Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm and Erik Lamela, while Jan Vertonghen and Tanguy Ndombele are slight doubts.
Spurs began their Champions League campaign with a 2-2 draw in Athens, having been 2-0 up early in the game, a result which was followed by a disappointing 7-2 reverse at home to Bayern Munich; but convincing back-to-back victories over Red Star have put them in a healthy position with two games remaining.
As for Olympiacos, who currently sit bottom of Group B with just one point, they need to secure a win to keep their feint hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of either the Champions League or Europa League alive.
The stats do not make pleasant reading for the Greek champions, who are winless in their last 12 Champions League games, and have only one win in their last 14 visits to England in European competitions.
Tuesday’s Champions League Fixtures
*Odds subject to change
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