Tottenham Hotspur have a great chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals of the UCL this season as they managed to take a 2-2 draw from their trip to Allianz Stadium in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie against Juventus last month. They welcome the Italian giants to Wembley this week, with a great chance to knock them out early in the tournament.
Thanks to Spurs’ two away goals and Massimiliano Allegri is expected to go with his strongest XI, to try and win the game or score twice and avoid a defeat. While Toby Alderweireld and Serge Aurier are missing for the hosts, Juventus might be without Gonzalo Higuain, who is nursing an injury. So where will this tie be settled? Here are three key battles that can decide the outcome of this game:
Harry Kane vs Giorgio Chiellini
Arguably one of the most consistent strikers in Europe at the moment, Harry Kane opened the scoring for Spurs in the first leg, which allowed them to come back from 2-0 down. The English ace is bang in form and will be the danger man for Juve, who will hope that their man mountain in Chiellini can keep Kane quite in this tie.
The Spurs man got the better of the Italian in the first leg and playing at home, he will look to do something similar but needs to be stopped for the visitors to take anything from this game.
Paulo Dybala vs Eric Dier
The Argentine dazzler missed the first leg of this tie with an injury but is back in form and scored a late winner in Juve’s 1-0 victory over Lazio at the weekend. He will be pumped up and will be the danger man for Spurs in this tie.
While Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen will keep a close eye on Dybala, it will be important that midfielder Eric Dier also denies him space in the middle of the park. Dier needs to sit deep and negate Dybala’s effect on the game as he is a genuine match winner and can run away with the tie.
Mousa Dembele vs Miralem Pjanic
One of the best players for Spurs in the first leg in Turin, Dembele has been in great form this season, gliding past defenders for fun. He put on a show against Juventus in that game and will have to be monitored closely at Wembley.
Pjanic remains one of the deeper midfielders for Juventus and it might be up to the 27-year old to keep the Belgian in check and away from creating chance after chance for the hosts.