September 18, 2019
Champions League updates from the 5.55pm BST kick-offPochettino preaches positivity as Spurs start healingAny thoughts? You can email Paul or tweet @paul_doyle 5.07pm BST
Olympiakos v Tottenham Hotspur: Champions League – live!
Tanguy Ndombele is back for Tottenham, who demote Moussa Sissoko to the bench. Lucas Moura gets a big vote of confidence in the form of a starting place ahead of Heung-min Son, while Dele Alli also returns, so Erik Lamela is benched. Davinson Sanchez has a big challenge on his hands as he is deployed at right-back (Serge Aurier has not travelled).
Olympiakos; José Sa; Elabdellaoui, Meriah, Semedo, Tsimkas; Guilherme, Bouchalkis; Masouras, Valbuena, Podence; Guerrero 12.01pm BST
Hello and welcome. Now let’s see what Tottenham are made of. Last season they enjoyed the sweetest European adventure in the club’s history but ended up with a feeling of vinegary regret, losing a non-event of a final. Has that experience made them stronger and wiser? Or will they be weakened by a sense that their best chance for Champions League glory has been and gone? The distraction of the transfer window has definitely been and gone – for now – and Spurs were fearsome when demolishing Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday in what was their best performance since the Champions League final. So they’re looking good heading in today’s game.
But Olympiakos are no Crystal Palace. Despite never making it beyond the quarter-final of a continental competition they are an authentic European force, if only at home. Their previous victims in Piraeus include Liverpool, Juventus, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, AC Milan and, yes, Burnley. They have not lost any of their last nine European matches, and the three that they played in this stadium en route to this season’s group stages ended 4-0, 2-0 and 4-0 in their favour. In fact, they’ve only conceded one goal anywhere in any competition this season (in a 2-1 victory at Krasnodor). But they’ve yet to face anyone as good as Spurs, and their most creative player is 34-year-old Mathieu Valbuena, who is wonderful on his day but no longer used to playing at the intensity that Spurs will hope to impose today.
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