Bear with me on this one.
No round of 16 tie is easy in the Champions League, but Spurs know that theirs could have been much less favourable. On Wednesday they face Borussia Dortmund who, though flying high in the Bundesliga, lost twice to the north London side during last year’s campaign…and visit Wembley this year with depleted ranks.
Having failed to overcome a stubborn Juventus test last time round, Mauricio Pochettino will be looking to do a lot better this season, and drown out those pesky ‘bottler’ jibes.
Here are four reasons why it just might happen.
4. Harry Kane
When Kane is in their starting lineup, Spurs have a chance against anybody – he’s that good.
The 2018 World Cup’s top scorer has continued his form into this campaign, notching 20 goals already and his Champions League stats make for even more impressive reading.
He has now scored 13 goals in just 16 Champions League appearances, giving him one of the best strike rates in the competition’s history.
Though the Englishman will miss out on the first leg against Dortmund, the club are anticipating his return before they travel to Germany for the reverse fixture, and that could prove decisive in this mouthwatering tie.
3. They Proved Their Mettle in the Group Stage
It wasn’t quite the great escape, but Tottenham’s qualification from Group B seemed pretty unlikely at one stage.
They had picked up a solitary point after three outings and Pochettino’s men were all but condemned to the indignity of the Europa League.
However, seven points from their next three was enough to see them qualify for the knockout phases, proving they can get a result anywhere in Europe when the chips are down.
2. The Form of Son Heung-min
Tottenham’s Korean hero has been tested to his limits this term, with frequent involvement with the national team hampering his progress with Tottenham.
Son admitted he was running on fumes after his stint at the Asian Cup, but since returning late last month the attacker has scored in three consecutive Premier League games, and will be crucial to any hopes Tottenham have of progressing any further in the Champions League.
What’s more, in his nine career appearances against Borussia Dortmund, Son has notched eight goals and will be desperate to boost that tally on Wednesday night.
1. History Dictates They Must Win a Trophy Before 2020
Though their history in Europe is far from illustrious – having appeared in the Champions League just four times prior to this season – Tottenham have won at least one trophy in every single decade since 1950.
However, after being dumped out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup in the same week, their best shot at silverware is now a toss-up between the Champions League and Premier League.
Whilst they may need to win each of their remaining 12 league games to lift the title, the salient fact is they have a shorter route to the Champions League final – start believing, Spurs fans!