UCL 2017/18: Tottenham vs. Real Madrid: Key Battles

Mathaeus Abuwa
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Real Madrid and Tottenham will battle again in the UEFA Champions League, as they seek to establish who will win Group H. At the Bernabéu, Mauricio Pochettino’s men held the European Champions to a 1-1 draw, and at Wembley, they’ll look to go one better. Tottenham currently sit atop the group on goal difference, but a win for either side would firmly decide who’ll be getting the more favourable draw in the next round.

Real Madrid are coming into this match off an embarrassing defeat away at Girona which was their first loss to a newly promoted side in 27 years. The historical loss also means that Los Blancos’ 13-game away winning streak has been halted. Zinedine Zidane’s men now find themselves 8 points behind Barcelona, if the gap gets any bigger, the title will be heading back to Catalonia.

For Spurs, they’re coming into this monumental clash on the back of a disheartening 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. It’s no shame to lose to Manchester United, but it’s the manner of the defeat that will disappoint Mauricio Pochettino most. Tottenham were toothless, lacking creativity and all over the place defensively. Some would attribute this to the absence of Harry Kane, and others would say José Mourinho just tactically nullified Pochettino’s men.

Here are the key battles to look out for as Tottenham take on Real Madrid.

3Serge Aurier vs Marcelo

The Ivorian has been mightily impressive since making the switch to London from Paris. The former Paris Saint-Germain right-back only knows one style of play, and that’s to be offensively-minded. This is why he’s been perfect for the right wing-back role, as he prefers to attack rather than defend. However, on Wednesday, the 24-year-old will be pitted against the best attacking left-back in the world, Marcelo.

The Brazilian is the epitome of modern attacking full-backs, he has the skillset to even play as a striker if he wanted to. So, considering how good Marcelo is going forward, it’ll be interesting to see if Aurier has the tactical nous to be more defensively minded.

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