10 reasons why Tottenham Hotspur are Champions League contenders this season
Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino's guidance have come on leaps and bounds. Even the saltiest of Arsenal fans can't deny that. But one thing still eludes this era of revolution in the Spurs ranks: getting their hands on silverware.
Many have tipped the FA Cup to be Spurs' best chance this season, with simple draws such as AFC Wimbledon and Newport County. However, their shaky performance in South Wales almost sent them out, so they must look for another avenue towards a trophy and with City out of sight in the league, the Champions League might well be their best chance to achieve their goal.
But with Europe's best sides remaining in the competition can they possibly go all the way and be victorious in Kiev on May 26th. Well, I'm not sure about that but here are 10 reasons why they might have a better chance than you think:
Whilst the famous 'Wembley hoodoo" haunted Spurs during the start of the season after draws with Swansea and Burnley and a loss to Chelsea, Wembley has been made home by the Spurs team and their fans and was arguably key to a few recent victories - most notably their 2-0 dispatching of Mourinho's United and the dominant 1-0 win in the North London Derby.
Wembley gives Spurs the second biggest capacity left in the competition with the Nou Camp and FC Barcelona being the only larger stadium. No club, no matter how big, will want to face 90,000 fans in what would most likely be a very high-pressure game. More than this, however, will be the effect of just having experience at playing at a top European ground, week in, week out.
Going to places like the Nou Camp and the Allianz Arena, for instance, will be less daunting than it may have been if they were still at the smaller, yet to Spurs fans still lovable, old White Hart Lane.
#2 Group stage promise
After their dismal display in last season's group stage where they came 3rd in a group with Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow, they managed a sensational campaign this year where Spurs ended up in 3rd and in the Europa League. They managed to top a group of 2 of Europe's finest teams, knocking reigning champions Real Madrid into 2nd place and leaving Dortmund with a Europa League campaign to contend with.
Pochettino and his team put in a string of excellent performances managing to win every game bar one and achieving the highest amount of points of anyone across all 8 groups (16 out of a possible 18). That is an outstanding achievement considering the improvement from one year to the next and considering the fact this was only Spurs' 3rd Champions League campaign since the turn of the century. This kind of experience and form will surely help Spurs as they approach the knockout stages.