07-Mar-2018 19:15:37 | The Guardian
Pre-match listening: While we’re killing time before kick off, we could listen to the pundits on the television yammer on about this match, filling time, always filling time. Or we could cock an ear in the direction of Rob Smyth, Lee Calvert and a host of other experts reminiscing about their (and your) salad days. It’s a no-brainer!
Related: Nessun Dorma podcast: from Jack Charlton to Euro 96, via Paul Merson
Spurs make two changes to the team they sent out in Turin three weeks ago. Kieran Trippier replaces the suspended Serge Aurier, while Heung-Min Son relegates Erik Lamela to the bench.
Juve make three changes from their first-leg starting XI. Mattia De Sciglio, Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi are unavailable; in come Andrea Barzagli, Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane.Subs: Vorm, Rose, Wanyama, Sissoko, Lamela, Moura, Llorente.
Juventus: Buffon, Barzagli, Benatia, Chiellini, Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi, Dybala, Higuain, Costa.Subs: Szczesny, Marchisio, Asamoah, Rugani, Lichtsteiner, Sturaro, Bentancur.
Tottenham Hotspur are a huge club. A famous club. One of England’s grandest institutions. They’ve got a European pedigree to match, having been the first British club to land a trophy on the continent – the 1963 Cup Winners Cup – and the winners of two Uefa Cups since. But their record in the big one constitutes a gap on the honours board: a narrow semi-final defeat to Benfica in 1962 and a quarter-final thumping by Real Madrid in 2011 is all they’ve got to show in the European Cup. So getting through to the quarters this year would be a feat not to be sniffed at. Mauricio Pochettino’s side may be one of the best teams in Europe right now ... but history can be a burden, so one step at a time.
The quarters are tantalisingly close, though. Spurs may have already beaten reigning champions Real Madrid and done for much-fancied Borussia Dortmund this season, but Juventus still looked quite the hurdle when these clubs were paired in the Round of 16. The Old Lady has made two of the last three finals, after all. And when Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in the first nine minutes of the first leg ... well. But look at how Spurs fought back through Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen! A draw, two away goals, advantage Tottenham. If Europe didn’t know it before, they certainly know now: Spurs are the real deal.