Nov 1, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid
Alli (27', 56'), Eriksen (65')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Ronaldo (80')

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Real Madrid

Sports Mole previews the Champions League encounter at Wembley Stadium between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.

Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid head into their Champions League fixture at Wembley Stadium locked on seven points, meaning that whoever prevails on Wednesday night is likely to win Group H.

However, both clubs enter the game on the back of a defeat, with Spurs losing at Manchester United and Real being stunned by minnows Girona.

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane chats to Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on October 22, 2017© SilverHub

After their 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool at Wembley, Mauricio Pochettino and his players were deserving of their widespread praise but the following two matches have shown that Spurs still have many improvements to make in order to fully complete the transition into one of English football's top teams.

Despite previously going 11 matches without defeat in all competitions, that should not be considered a harsh judgement. Spurs are proving to be a different animal when Harry Kane is not in the side, whether that is their threat in front of goal or the overall mentality of their side.

Letting slip a two-goal lead to West Ham United in the EFL Cup would have led to alarm bells ringing in the mind of Pochettino - despite the competition being low down on his list of priorities - and although Spurs' less-than-ambitious attitude against Manchester United was as much Pochettino's own doing than anyone else's, his players did not maintain the same belief as they would have done with Kane in the team.

The participation of the free-scoring 24-year-old cannot be the be all and end all of Spurs - despite his 13 goals and two assists from 12 club appearances this season - and pending Kane's availability, a solution needs to be found in order to avoid suffering three defeats in the space of a week.

If Kane is absent, Fernando Llorente will hope to be given the nod after playing just 168 minutes of football in the Premier League and Champions League since leaving Swansea City, but Pochettino has already hinted that he sees the 32-year-old playing a similar bit-part role to Vincent Janssen.

Spurs still remain a class act at the back - despite their 20 minutes of madness against the Hammers - but the North Londoners visibly missed the presence of Davinson Sanchez at Old Trafford, with Eric Dier being preferred to the Colombian who has impressed since joining in the summer.

A recall for the youngster feels inevitable, but Pochettino has a number of selection dilemmas for a game against a team who will arrive in England as a wounded animal after another poor result on Sunday.

Recent form: WWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWDWLL

Real Madrid

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane on March 6, 2017© SilverHub

When Real Madrid won the La Liga and Champions League double last season, there was every expectancy that Zinedine Zidane's men would rule again this term - especially in Spain after the changes at Barcelona - but the club's head coach is having to start to deal with the most troublesome spell of his managerial career.

Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Girona has left Real eight points off the pace in La Liga and even at this stage of the campaign, Los Blancos will need some run of form - or equally for Barcelona to endure an unexpected slump - for the club to be able to successfully defend their crown.

Real have only lost twice in 18 games this season - that fact should not be lost when forming an opinion over the current state of affairs - but they have not scored more than three goals in a game all season. That is a startling run for a team who possess such quality in the final third.

Zidane's men have shown their ability to grind out results but sooner or later, teams inevitably come unstuck and that is what occurred at Girona, who recorded what will be regarded as the biggest win in their history.

Not one player has scored more than three goals in La Liga - with Cristiano Ronaldo having just one goal in six outings to his name - but to a large degree, the statistics are irrelevant. Real are no longer showing the flair and cohesion which made them near unplayable at times last season.

That said, the trip to Wembley probably comes at the right time. Zidane needs a reaction from his players if they are to improve their chances of getting back into the mix at the top of the La Liga table, and defeating Spurs in front of over 80,000 people at one of the most iconic stadiums in the world may do just that.

It will not be lost on Zidane that Real had their chances to beat Spurs on matchday three. Only a wonder save from Hugo Lloris denied Karim Benzema putting Real into the lead, but Keylor Navas's heroics also ensured that the Spanish outfit did not lose. That has been the story of their season.

Recent form: WWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWDWWL

Team News

Harry Kane goes down injured during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on October 22, 2017© Offside

Pochettino is likely to give Kane every chance of proving his fitness for Wednesday's contest although given the state of the group, no risks will be taken on the Englishman.

Sanchez should be restored to the defence, with Dier moving back into midfield, while Mousa Dembele is in contention for a start in place of Harry Winks.

Kieran Tripper may get the nod over Serge Aurier at right wing-back, but Pochettino is unlikely to throw Danny Rose into the starting lineup despite his recent return to fitness.

Zidane has claimed that he is unsure of the fitness of Gareth Bale, but reports in Spain have suggested that the former Spurs man is yet to return to training.

The French boss will likely make changes to his starting lineup, with Nacho and Marco Asensio both in line to be recalled to the side.

Those decisions could be taken out of his own hands with Raphael Varane and Isco having both missed training in the build-up to the game, while Navas also remains a doubt after missing the last three matches.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Tripper, Dier, Dembele, Davies; Eriksen, Alli, Llorente

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Casilla; Hakimi, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Asensio, Ronaldo, Benzema

Head To Head

Wednesday's fixture will represent the sixth time in which these two teams have faced each other in a competitive match, with Real claiming three victories and Spurs failing to win a single game.

However, Spurs at least managed to score their first-ever goal against Real earlier this month, although that only came from Varane putting through his own net.

On their last visit to North London in 2011, Real ran out 1-0 winners at White Hart Lane thanks to a goal from Ronaldo.

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We say: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Real Madrid

This is a pivotal game for both clubs, and we think that Real will just shade it. Spurs' chances may depend on the fitness of Kane, but that feeling alone suggests that Real should have too much quality for the English team. This can be the result which sparks Real's season into life and Zidane's men will be motivated to achieve it.

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid?

Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid
Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring the second during the Premier League game between Manchester United and West Ham United on August 13, 2017
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