Tottenham may be liking their chances against Barcelona, but they should be wary on Tuesday evening when the two meet in the Champions League.
Many a Spurs fan may have looked on with trepidation when they saw Barcelona drawn into the same Champions League group as their own. Such a draw serves as a treat and a punishment at the same time, with a rare chance to see the Spanish champions, while also realizing that it may be six points lost.
But a lot has changed since the draw was made back in August, namely Barcelona’s shock dip in form which has seen them pick up just 14 points in seven games. They still stand proudly at the top of the La Liga table, but they have only picked up two points in their last three games.
They have also conceded eight goals in their last seven league games and they head to Wembley in very poor form, at least by their standards.
That will give Mauricio Pochettino and his men real hope as they prepare to host the Spanish champions, but they shouldn’t be getting too carried away. Yes, if ever there was a good time to play Barca, this has to be it given their recent form. However, their form means very little. This is a team of serial winners, made up of some of the world’s best players and you can bet your bottom dollar they will rediscover their form. And, of course, Tottenham faces an uphill challenge of their own given that five of their stars, including Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are all missing through injury.
You’ve also got to keep in mind that Barcelona is placing a huge emphasis on the Champions League this season and they may even put it in front of the La Liga title if the question is asked. Many of their players are tired of watching rivals Real Madrid lift the elite title year after year.
And having won the league so regularly in the last few years, Barca has been left with a Champions League-shaped void in their list of recent achievements. There’s a craving to win Europe’s biggest title again, to establish themselves as Europe’s best once more.
So this could be a different ball game for Barcelona when compared to their league form. You may just see them come to life in the Champions League, and they will be looking to reignite some very good memories at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham may be in good form, boosted by the return to form of star striker Harry Kane, and Barcelona may look a little off-color as they make their way to the English capital. However, think again if you think this is a good time to play Ernesto Valverde’s men. This is Barcelona and there’s never a good time to play Barcelona.