UCL Preview: Danny Rose to make start against Real Madrid since january

Tottenham defender Danny Rose could make his first appearance since January for his side’s Champions League Group H game at European champions Real Madrid.

Rose has been out with a knee injury but could make the substitutes bench at the Bernabeu, while midfielder Dele Alli, who has travelled, is suspended.

Former Spurs forward Gareth Bale is out with a calf injury and will not face his old club.

Keeper Keylor Navas is set to return after recovering from a thigh injury.

Real are level with Spurs at the top of Group H with the same points and goal difference.

‘A new chapter’

Tottenham’s first two Champions League group games have ended in victories against Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said the game with Real was a chance for his players to show they can be European force.

“It is a big opportunity for us to show that we can compete at this level,” he said.

“It is so special to play here in the Champions League. It is a great opportunity for us all and we are so excited.”

‘Group H final’

Real and Spurs face each other twice in two weeks, with the 12-time European champions visiting Wembley on 1 November.

Real manager Zinedine Zidane labelled Tuesday’s meeting as the “first group final”.

“Both teams have the same points,” he added. “Tottenham are not just about [Harry] Kane and we’re going to prepare for this game well.”

Domestically, Real trail leaders Barcelona by five points after failing to win three of their first eight La Liga games.

“People can talk and have their opinion. I have to do my job as well as possible and not do silly things,” Zidane added.

“I’m not going to invent anything, I try to do things in the best possible way. Many may say otherwise, but that’s not going to change what I want to do.”

How likely are Spurs to progress?

Sports data specialists Gracenote Sports have simulated the remainder of the Champions League group phase one million times based on their current ratings for the clubs involved and their results to date, and have come up with a probability percentage of each side progressing to the knockout stage.

Simon Gleave, head of analysis at the company, said: “Tottenham Hotspur were expected to win in Cyprus but that victory combined with Borussia Dortmund’s failure to get anything from Real Madrid in their home match has pushed Spurs’ chance of the last 16 up to 90%.

“However, if Tottenham fail to get any points from Real Madrid on matchdays three and four, and Dortmund pick up all six against Apoel, Spurs’ chance will reduce significantly from their current level, although they will still be the favourites to progress ahead of Dortmund because of the 3-1 win against the Germans on matchday one.”

Seventh heaven for Kane – the stats

  • Harry Kane has already scored seven goals in only five games in the Champions League. This season, he has been directly involved in all six of Spurs’ goals, assisting the first and scoring the following five.
  • Real Madrid are unbeaten against Tottenham in European competition; they have faced each other four times, with Real winning three of them.
  • Real are unbeaten in their past 29 Champions League group games, their last defeat dating back to October 2012 away to Borussia Dortmund.
  • At home, Real have won 21 of their past 23 group games, last tasting defeat eight years ago against AC Milan, in October 2009 when they lost 3-2.
  • Real Madrid are playing in the Champions League for the 21st consecutive season, the longest run in the history of the competition.
  • Tottenham are in the Champions League group stages for the third time after 2010-11 (quarter-finals) and 2016-17 (group stage).
  • Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has found the net 94 times in 90 games in the Champions League.

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