Tottenham have a lot of work ahead of them if they are to progress to the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarter-finals as they trail 1-0 going into this second leg against AC Milan. It was the same scoreline by which Spurs went down in Premier League weekend action, being beaten by a tenure-challenging club like Wolves in a performance that left caretaker manager Cristian Stellini “upset”.
The return of their full-time manager, Antonio Conte, after his medical absence should boost Spurs as they look to overturn a first-leg deficit for the third time in four times in European competition. Conte’s return could bode well for Spurs as the Italian manager has won five of his last eight home games against Milan in all competitions.
Milan also suffered disappointment at domestic level over the weekend, losing 2-1 against Fiorentina to also miss out on the race for a second successive Serie A title, with their away performance largely the same. guilty of his failed title defense this season. That wasn’t the ideal warm-up heading into this trip to north London, with five losses in their last six home-and-away series against English opposition threatening their chances of recording a first UCL quarter-final appearance in 11 years. .
Something that also shows why they start this match as “underdog” is the fact that they also lost by an aggregate score of 9-1 in their last three visits to the English capital in European competitions. But if it’s historical results you’re looking to for inspiration, then 37 wins from 43 UEFA competition series in which they won the first leg at home should give Stefano Pioli’s men some hope.
Players to watch: Tottenham’s go-to man Harry Kane has scored six goals in his last six UCL games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and his last four goals at club level have been his last in their respective fixtures. Looking to stop Tottenham’s all-time top scorer will be former Chelsea player Fikayo Tomori, who has seen a card in three of his five UCL appearances this season.
Highlight: Tottenham have conceded the first goal in five of their seven UCL games this season.