MX23RW : Monday, February 18 21:19:53

5 reasons Tottenham should be confident in the Champions League

5 reasons Tottenham should be confident in the Champions League
© Reuters
Spurs still have hopes of reaching the last 16.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side can head to Barcelona to deliver the result needed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

Pochettino's men must match or better Inter Milan's result when the Italians host PSV Eindhoven on December 11 if they are to progress from the group stages.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five reasons to be confident of qualifying when they head to the Nou Camp.

Barca in cruise control

After winning 2-1 away to PSV, Spanish giants Barcelona made sure of top spot in Group B, and with it seeding for the knock-out stages. With the pressure off, Ernesto Valverde could use the European fixture, essentially a dead rubber for them, to give some of his key men a rest – and not having to face Lionel Messi in the starting XI would certainly lift belief in the Spurs dressing room.

Inter need to complete the Italian job

After failing to hold out for a draw at Wembley, the pressure is now on Inter to deliver against PSV. Spurs have the edge on the Italians with a better head-to-head record over their two games, by virtue of having scored more away goals in their 2-1 defeat. Given the margins are so small, any error from Inter will play in Spurs' favour – so long as they manage to avoid a heavy beating themselves.

Dutch courage

Mark van Bommel's side can no longer qualify, and are cast adrift at the bottom of the group, so will not have the fallback of Europa League football. However, PSV gave Barca plenty of concern on Wednesday night, hitting the woodwork three times during the first half. The Dutch side will be able to play without any pressure – and could just give Inter a few things to worry about, which would in turn be good news for Spurs.

Game-changers on song

Christian Eriksen came off the bench to fire Spurs' late winner against Inter, which provided the perfect response to finding himself out of the starting line-up. Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were all on target in Saturday's impressive Premier League win over Chelsea – giving Pochettino plenty of options for their crunch trip to Barcelona.

Learn from England's Young Lions

England's Harry Kane (left) and Spain's Sergio Busquets. (PA)
Spurs forward Harry Kane, left, got the better of Barcelona's Sergio Busquets, right, while on international duty (Nick Potts/PA Archive)

Both Kane and Spurs midfielder Eric Dier were in the England side which produced a memorable and historic victory in Spain last month, upsetting the odds to win their Nations League encounter 3-2. Records are there to be broken and Spurs can take inspiration to write their own chapter in the club's folklore by pulling off the unexpected at the Nou Camp.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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