3 Things Tottenham Must Do To Down Juventus
After an excellent result in the first leg, we have a fantastic opportunity of going through tomorrow night, but we are coming up against opponents who will make things as difficult as possible for us.
Juve are not used to losing and that winning mentality will no doubt give them belief that they can turn things around at Wembley, and we will definitely come under pressure at points during the game.
Max Allegri is a very intelligent manager, and he would have learnt a lot from his first encounter against Poch, so our coach will have to anticipate some tactical changes from our opponents. I have no doubt the Argentine is up to the task, and here a few key areas he will be looking at ahead of the match.
1. Stopping Dybala
Gonzalo Higuain could be out of the match tomorrow. The Argentinian is suffering with an ankle injury, and is a serious doubt, but significantly the Bianconeri have another equally dangerous forward back in their ranks.
Paulo Dybala did not feature in the first leg in Turin, but was back in action on Saturday, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win over Lazio. Unlike his team mate, he likes to play in a deep lying role, and is hard to pick up. Poch has to deny him space in between the backline and midfield, or otherwise he will be a huge threat. Juventus have a better win percentage whenever the 24 year old is in the team, and it`s not hard to see why with his 18 goals in all competitions this season.
2. Targeting their weakest link
Their centre back partnership had not conceded this calendar year until we hit two past them, but it seems one of them is now carrying an injury.
Medhi Benatia limped off after the victory at the weekend, and if he is not fit tomorrow night, we could see Daniele Rugani start. The Italian was dropped from the starting XI after a 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria in November and has struggled to regain his place ever since.
The 23 year old has started the club`s last two Serie A games which suggests he would be next in line to partner Chiellini in defence, but there are big question marks about his form. If he does play, I have no doubt that Harry, Dele and the rest of the attack could exploit his lack of confidence and give him a torrid time.
3. Be prepared for a surprise
For the first time in a long time, Juventus opted for three at the back against Lazio on Saturday. It is believed the switch in formation was designed to mirror their opposition. Yet, Allegri could have been using the game to try out a new system ahead of the game against us as well.
I would still back them to start with their tried and tested four-man backline, as they were certainly not convincing in their 3-5-2, and scraped a win with just one shot on target all match. However, I wouldn`t rule out a surprise. Dybala likes playing off another striker. If Higuain is fit, or he opts to start Mandzukic through the middle for two up top, three at the back could be the way to go. Pochettino will have to be prepared for such an eventuality.