Tottenham Seeks First Shot at Champions League Semifinal
Tottenham Hotspur is just 90 minutes away from reaching the Champions League semifinal for the first time.The Spurs face the second-favorite to win the Cup, Manchester City (+285), Wednesday after going up 1-0 in the first leg on a late goal from Son Heung-min. Tottenham comes in a +875 underdog in the second match, left to play without star Harry Kane, who suffered an ankle injury last game.
Not only is the English striker out for the second leg, but midfielder Delle Alli is questionable with a broken hand. Eric Dier, Serge Aurier, Erik Lamela and Harry Winks will sit as well. City, on the other hand, hopes to welcome Fernandinho back into the lineup after he missed Sunday’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace with injury. Sergio Augero’s ongoing fitness issues leave his form in question following Sunday’s match against Palace, but he should be back in the Sky Blues lineup.
The Citizens own quite the home-field advantage Wednesday, having won 23 of their last 25 matches at the Etihad Stadium. Tottenham has only won once in their last eight matches at Man City’s stadium, a 2-1 Premier League victory in February 2016. Still, City has lost two of its last three home games in Champions League knockout stages. Their lone win was a 7-0 beating of Schalke in this season’s round of 16.
As for Tottenham, the Spurs have won their last three Champions League matches but have never won four in a row in the competition. Should they score an away goal, Pep Guardiola’s squad would need to respond with three in order to advance to the semifinal on aggregate. Son Heung-min will need to continue to step up in scoring for the Spurs, as will Lucas Moura, who achieved his first hat trick in English football Saturday.
The Spurs are sitting on a three-match clean sheet, leaving Huddersfield Town, Man City and Crystal Palace without a goal in Tottenham’s April matches. It may be a longshot for it to happen once more, but +875 odds to see City come up scoreless is a nice value pick. It’s also important to note Tottenham’s previous 10 goals scored in the Champions League have occurred in the second half, and 93 percent (13-of-14) of its goals have been netted in the last 45 minutes. If you feel the Spurs can knock one in against City, take the +140 odds to see a second-half goal from the Lilywhites.
With the plethora of injuries and City’s massive edge at home, though, it’s difficult to see the Spurs winning the game outright. Tottenham's defense will keep the scoring low, but Man City will prevail in the end 2-1, with Tottenham's away goal sending them to the Champions League semifinal.
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