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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Real Madrid v Spurs - 05.04.11

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Spurs record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
U.E.F.A Champions League
 P   W   D   L   F - A
10   5   3   2  25 -14
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
European Cup Winners Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
(Winners 1963)
P   W   D   L   F - A
85 51  20  15  182-71 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
P    W   D   L   F - A
136 80  29  27  291-129
Champions League Group A
		   P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  PTS
1.Spurs            6  3  2  1 18-11  7  11
2.Inter Milan      6  3  1  2 12-11  1  10
3.Fc Twente        6  1  3  2  9-11 -2   6
4.SV Werder Bremen 6  1  2  3  6-12 -6   5 

Round of 16

A.C Milan   0-1   Spurs
Spurs       0-0   A.C Milan

Champions League Group G
		   P  W  D  L  F-A  GD   PTS
1. Real Madrid     6  5  1  0 15-2  13   16
2. AC Milan        6  2  2  2  7-7   0    8
3. Ajax            6  2  1  3  6-10 -4    7
4. Auxerre         6  1  0  5  3-12 -9    3
 The club logo of Real Madrid
Round of 16

Lyon        1-1   Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3-0   Lyon
We can do a job here!

In a season where Spurs have graced the Champions League, we now prepare to go to one of the prime footballing venues of not just Europe, but the World! When Spurs qualified for the tournament, we dreamt of seeing our team play in places such as The San Siro, Bernabeu and Nou Camp. Now we are achieving the second of those dreams, and could make the third too!

Spurs are not travelling to Madrid to be fodder for Real, but to do a job where we can achieve a result that we can work with in the second leg at White Hart Lane next week. That was our realistic objective when we met A.C Milan in the Round of 16, and look what happened! We saw a great win. That memorable Modric pass, Lennon run and Crouch goal won us the tie after a stout job defending our lead in the second leg, with Sandro hailed as man of the match with a mark that was only second to that of Gareth Bale at home against Inter.

Note that all the above-named players are likely to be fit and playing tomorrow night. A fit Bale will be key, as his name is now revered and feared in European football. We must also hope that William Gallas managed to pass fit for this game, although he will remain very doubtful until the late decision about selection has to be made.

Real's head coach Jose Mourinho is not being bullish about his task, and in fact has declared caution, even to the degree that he says a 0-0 draw at home would be a good enough result for his side, which he believes will win at White Hart Lane.

It's one step at a time for Spurs, who will take encouragment from the likely absence of Real's two top scorers in this season's Champions League. Karim Benzema got injured playing for France against Croatia last week, and Mourinho says he won't be fit until Real's game against Bilbao next Sunday. Having previously said that Cristiano Ronaldo would not be fit for the Spurs game, Jose now says he might risk him for tomorrow. Between them Benzema and Ronaldo have scored 10 of Real's 19 Champions League goals.

Another encouragement for Spurs lies in Mourinho's first home league defeat for 151 games, as they lost at home to 14th placed Sporting Gijon on Saturday. Mind you, Spurs' domestic form hasn't been great either, has it?

Former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso was suspended on Saturday, but will play tomorrow, as will Mesut Ozil, star of last year's World Cup, allegedly linked with Spurs, but bought by Real from Werder Bremen at the start of this season. Ozil scores a few goals for himself but has been involved in no less than 25 of Real's goals this season to become one of their most prominent players.

Real may also be missing Marcelo, but let's face it, they are a side with outstanding pedigree and great quality deep down the squad. It includes Spanish International goalkeeper Casillas; Argentines Di Maria (midfield) and Higuain (striker), Sergio Ramos in defence, along with former Chelsea defender Carvalho, Man City loanee striker Adebayor, German midfielder Khedira and one time World star Kaka, although the latter is a peripheral figure these days. Basically, they've got great quality in every position, and yet they stand 8 points behind Barcelona in the Spanish League.

Forget Saturday's defeat. A better gauge of Real's form is the fact they dominated their Group, getting twice as many points as A.C Milan, and that before Saturday they had not lost in 12 games since January, and that they beat Lyon 3-0 at home in their Round of 16 tie.

Spurs will need to be at their very, very best here, but I repeat, they can get a result that we can work with next week. Let's keep the dream going! (P.S - I shall be returning from Madrid on Thursday, so web-site updates will be delayed)

Did you know? Songs by pop star Shakira are banned at the ground of Real Madrid because her boyfriend Gerard Pique (formerly of Man Utd) plays for rivals Barcelona. Her song Waka-Waka had been played regularly at the Bernabeu during pre-match build-ups and at half time but has now been dropped.

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