Category: Champions League

Harry Kane targets away win at Bernabeu for Tottenham

Harry Kane says that Tottenham will go to Santiago Bernabeu confident and in anticipation of a win against Real Madrid after their 3-0 Champions League victory at Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday night.

“I’d say it’s the most confident I’ve felt,” Kane said. “I’ve scored quite a few goals this September and there’s another game left at Huddersfield on Saturday. Hopefully I can take the form into that game and keep going.”

“It’s part of being more mature. The more I play, the more I get a sense of what defenders will do at certain times. For example, I went back across through the [defender’s] legs for the second goal against Apoel, little things like that. As you get older and wiser, things come naturally.”

Kane, 24, did not find the net in August, but has scored twice in two matches for England and nine in five for Tottenham thus far in September.

While looking forward to adding to his account against Huddersfield town in the Premier League this weekend, Kane says that he also has sights in Spurs’ next Champions League fixture — to be played against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on 17 October, before Tottenham would then host the European champions at Wembley in the return fixture on 1 November.

Spurs are also currently joint-leaders of Champions League Group H with Real, having followed up the 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley with victory in Nicosia. Kane, who has never been to the Bernabeu, intends to make his mark in the upcoming game.

“We feel we can beat anyone on our day,” Kane said. “Of course we know it will be tough but it’s two good teams and an open game, probably. It will come down to who is more clinical – hopefully that can be us. We are going there to win, not just to get a result. We will see what happens.”

“They (Real Madrid) have one of the best defences with [Sergio] Ramos, Marcelo, players like that. I want to test myself against the best and they have been the best in the last few years, without a doubt. It’s going to be exciting. I want to put in a performance like I have been recently.”

Prediction:

Huddersfield Town 0-2 Tottenham

Jose Mourinho: United need to stay respectful to win at Moscow

Club manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United needs to be dominant while staying humble and respecting hosts CSKA Moscow to win and thus maintain their fine start to the season.

The Red Devils had won their Group A opening game against Basel at Old Trafford a fortnight ago by 3-0, and Mourinho is once again targeting maximum points at the VEB Arena against the Russian team.

“We cannot guarantee this line of success but the way to try to keep it going is to do what we’re doing,” Mourinho said. “We try to play well and in some moments of the match, if the opponents have moments of superiority, we have to be humble, like we were against Southampton, and to cope with the difficult moments.”

“Looking at the match at Southampton on TV, I think there was an episode in the first half that could transform the game [Shane Long’s first-half challenge on Marouane Fellaini which resulted in an ankle injury for the Belgian].”

“We were winning 1-0 when that happened and we could be in control and win the game easily, but in the second half we had to be humble and accept the opponent was on a high and we had to fight hard. So I think it’s a mixture of our quality and trying to be dominant, like we want to be always, but accepting the reality of high-level football, that when the opponent has a strong moment, you have to cope with it.”

Fellaini went on to finish the match against Southampton, but was subsequently ruled out of the trip to Moscow and Mourinho hopes he will be available after next month’s international break.

Mourinho hopes Fellaini will not now be called up by Belgium for their international matches as they have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup. “Fellaini was lucky – he could have been in a much worse situation but at the moment … when we don’t have (Paul) Pogba and (Michael) Carrick,” he added. “I expect him not to be out for a long time and after Crystal Palace – Belgium are the first country to qualify so I hope he can be playing for us.”

Conte: Chelsea will need more players for Champions League

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte believes that Chelsea will need a bigger squad to compete realistically in the Champions League next season.

At present, the Blues just need six more points to be confirmed as Premier League winners after Tottenham’s shock 1-0 loss against London rivals West Ham United. However, Conte asserted that Tottenham have not been disadvantaged by European commitments this season.

“Tottenham dropped at the first group stage [of the Champions League] and then dropped in the first [round] in the Europa League,” Conte said. “If you consider our games and theirs, there is a difference of what, eight games?

“I must be honest about this topic — I think that Tottenham have an advantage if you compare them to Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino is a really good manager and is working with his team for a third year.

“Tottenham, last season, fought to win the title and Chelsea arrived 10th. You can see our transfer market, and Tottenham’s transfer market. Then I think Tottenham, in their project, have an advantage if you compare them to us.

“If you consider the squads, the numbers in each squad, you can see the difference: one team prepared to play the Champions League with 25 or 26 players, and another prepared to play the league, the FA Cup and the League Cup.”

When asked if that means Chelsea need more players to compete in both England and Europe next season, Conte replied: “Yes, for sure.”