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Fan rant of the day: Tottenham face a tough challenge in Champions League Round of 16 – but here’s how they can get the job done

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Tottenham players celebrate draw against Barcelona

Tottenham needed some luck to make it into the round of 16 in the Champions League. The Lilywhites were minutes away from elimination but Lucas Moura came up with a huge goal against Barcelona to draw with the Catalans.

That was not enough to take us through but Inter Milan’s surprise draw against PSV Eindhoven in Italy got the job done. Now, we can continue our journey once the Champions League returns in February.

Memories remain of our performance last season when we were knocked out by Juventus in the same stage. Tottenham were better than the Italians for most of the two-legged affair. However, our lapses in concentration cost us and we have to ensure similar mistakes aren’t repeated.

Some big names on the list for Spurs

Coming second in the group behind Barcelona isn’t the worst result, considering we even had Inter to deal with. However, coming second means we face some really difficult teams in the next round.

We cannot face another English side that won the group, meaning Manchester City are out but there are a ton of quality teams that came top of their group.

Spurs cannot face Barcelona too but the other possible opponents are Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Porto.

Tottenham showed they have the quality to get results under pressure but dealing with the rest of the teams will be a real test.

Beating the best to be the best

There is no doubting the quality of this Spurs side but staying fit till February will be a huge concern for us. Jan Vertonghen, Juan Foyth, Davinson Sanchez, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Mousa Dembele and Harry Winks have all had injuries at some point of the season.

Should we stay fit, we will have more than a fighting chance against all the teams listed above. Real Madrid aren’t going great guns and neither are Bayern Munich.

Harry Kane of Tottenham scores against Barcelona

Harry Kane against Barcelona

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain provide the biggest threat to us given their attack. Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund could be dark horses, given their great start to the domestic season.

Spurs have mixed things up with the formations this season. From a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-1-2-1-2, and they have had mixed results.

While the 4-2-3-1 provides us more width, the 4-1-2-1-2 creates more problems for the opposition with Son Heung-min supporting Harry Kane.

The problem with this formation is that it cuts out the width of the team but provides players such as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen with the chance to link-up with our two strikers.

The likes of Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela can thrive playing as the second striker or the attacking midfielder behind the two strikers. The trio of midfielders could drop back and give additional protection to our defence.

Son Heung min Jan Vertonghen Tottenham

Kane, Son and Alli will be crucial to our chances of making it out of the group but our midfield has to be strong as well.

Moussa Sissoko has been great this season but Eric Dier hasn’t been consistent. We would have to win the midfield game against some of the top sides in the Round of 16 and this is where an extra midfielder would certainly help us.

The defence certainly needs tightening up but we haven’t had all our defenders fit throughout the season. We would be great at the back if we stuck with four players in the four positions for a number of games but injuries have derailed our plans.

Read more: Tottenham star showers praises on Mauricio Pochettino amidst Real Madrid interest

Tottenham have the right tools to get the results in the knockout round but it all depends on the formation we use to pick the lock.

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