Juventus will host the first leg of the Champions League last 16 vs. Tottenham, with Harry Kane up against Europe's in-form defensive unit.

By 90Min
February 12, 2018

Tottenham travel to Turin for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, to face Juventus. Both clubs have underperformed in their leagues, with Juventus trailing to Napoli in the Serie A title race, and Spurs being nowhere near a title challenge which is a decline from previous seasons. 

Spurs go into this game in a positive light after a win in the North London Derby against bitter rivals Arsenal, thanks to a Harry Kane header. They will look to carry on this form against a Juventus side that has conceded only one goal in their last 16 games. This figure is especially impressive when you consider that Juve legend Gianluigi Buffon was missing through injury for many of those games, so Tottenham will have to be at their best on Tuesday night. 

All hopes of a Spurs upset will rest on the shoulders of Harry Kane due to his unbelievable scoring form this season, even in the Champions League where he has scored 6 goals in 5 games. Others will have to be at their best as well, such as Christian Eriksen, whose importance has been highlighted in the games that he has missed, like the draws against Newport and Southampton. 

Juventus will also have a tough game due to the likely absence of top performer Paulo Dybala, who has contributed 17 goals to the Italian side this season. The threat of Gonzalo Higuain and their rock-solid defense should prove difficult enough for Spurs to handle with, however. 


Key Battle

Harry Kane vs Giorgio Chiellini

Michael Regan/GettyImages

These two are arguably the most important players for either side, with Kane being Tottenham's top goalscorer and Chiellini playing 26 games for Juve this season, so the battle between them is key in the outcome of the game. 

Kane is Spurs' main goal source with his 34 goals in all competitions, so if Chiellini is able to deal with him it is likely Juventus will come out as victors. Equally, if Kane is not dealt with by Chiellini, Juventus are certainly going to concede due to the clinical nature of the English international.

Kane has also been prolific in important games this season, such as the North London Derby last Saturday, so he will be especially motivated for this fixture. 


Team News

As mentioned before, Argentine talisman Paulo Dybala is a doubt for the game, along with Andrea Barzagli, Benedikt Howedes, Blaise Matuidi and Juan Cuadrado, who will also miss the game, so Tottenham have the advantage when it comes to the injury list.

Spurs have no notable injuries, although Alderweireld has only recently come back so it is likely he will be rested for the tie. 


Prediction

This is a tough game to predict due to the excellent form of both teams and the quality that they both have on the pitch. It is tough to see Juventus keeping a clean sheet due to the attacking quality that Spurs possess, especially due to the performances of Eriksen and Kane. 

Altogether, it is fair to suggest that this game will end in a draw due to the quality of both teams, but expect a timid game as neither will want to be down on aggregate for the second leg at Wembley. 

Score Prediction: Juventus 1-1 Tottenham

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Eagle (-2)
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