English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur deserves praise for doing well in their first season in the UEFA Champions League.
When you look at the level of the Champions League competition, Spurs have done a tremendous job to reach the quarter-final stage in their first ever competition.
Tottenham were drawn against Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the quarter-final when the draws took place in Nyon on 18 March, 2011 and many soccer pundits will be eagerly awaiting an entertaining game be the two attacking teams.
Tottenham improvement under Harry Redknapp has gone rank outsiders to reaching the quarterfinals of Europe’s most lucrative competition.
The London outfit has showed potential ever since the tournament began. They finished top of the group during the preliminary phase by beating champions Inter Milan into second spot.
In the previous round of the knockout phase, Tottenham beat AC Milan 1-0 in Italy before drawing 1-all in England to progress to the last eight.
On the other hand, Madrid beat Lyon 4-1 on aggregate to book a quarter-final place. The first leg had ended in 1-all draw in France before Madrid pounced to a 3-1 win over the French side.
Going into next week’s fixture, many people believe that the Spanish side is the favourite to win against the North London side but it is not impossible for the Spurs to beat the Los Blancos.
Tottenham has young and talented players capable of beating any team in Europe on their day. They have skill and competence in every department.
Redknapp has made clever signings ever since he arrived two seasons ago.
Players like Roman Pavelychenko, Wilson Palacios and recent signing Steve Piennar from Everton adds quality to this Spurs squad. Piennar is a very good midfielder, who can play in different attacking positions.
He can play left or right or even behind a target striker. He has pace and skill to take on opposition defenders.
Pavylecheko scored a brilliant goal against AC Milan and re-affirms his presence in the team.
Besides, Spurs possess attacking lethal wingers of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon. If both wingers are fit to face Madrid, then Madrid defenders should be ready to face their worst moments to date during this season’s competition.
Bale is behind Inter Milan demolition during preliminary phase and Lenon disarmed Milan defense in Italy by setting up peter Crouch winner in Italy during the last knock-out phase.
If both players are fit, Madrid is likely to suffer own goal agony or accumulation bookings that may weaken their squad for further progress in the tournament.
In the middle of the park, they have tireless Palacios, Jamien Jenas, Tom Huddlestone, skilled attacking duo of Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric, both world class players.
Veteran keeper Heurelho Gomes is almost as good as Iker Casilas. Tottenham’s greatest worry is in defense due to many injuries on their star defenders.
However, Tottenham will have to be wary of Cristiano Ronaldo in case he is fit to play. The former Manchester United midfielder could prove the difference between his team staying in or going out of the competition.
But even in his absence, Kaka, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria are capable of guiding Jose Mourinho’s team to the ‘dream’ semifinal against traditional Barcelona, who will be everyone’s favorite to overcome Shaktar in their quarterfinal meeting.