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Tottenham upbeat on Juventus showdown

Tottenham Hotspur will look to use the momentum of a brilliant comeback as a springboard to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Spurs host Juventus in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday with little between the sides following an opening 2-2 draw in Italy.

That scoreline seemed unlikely after Gonzalo Higuain’s brace in the first nine minutes put Juve in control.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen (R) shoots and scores during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO

But striker Harry Kane pulled one back and after Higuain missed a penalty, Christian Eriksen completed the fightback.

That leaves it all to play for at Wembley Stadium and Tottenham are brimming with confidence, with two away goals possibly proving crucial.

“Probably we were not the favourites before but people are looking at us after that performance at Juventus and saying we should go through now,” Kane said.

“We know we played well out there and on another day we could have won but we are not getting carried away.

“We know it is a big game. Champions League nights are what we all want to be involved in and this is a chance to get into the quarter-finals.”

Spurs are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions and Wembley, their temporary home while their new stadium is being built, has become somewhat of a fortress.

That couldn’t be said back in August, when talk of a curse ran rampant following their past failures at the English national stadium.

Tottenham won just one of four Champions League and Europa League matches there last season as construction on their new ground began.

Moving there for the entire 2017-18 home campaign, they started with a loss and a draw to leave them with just two wins in 12 games at Wembley since it re-opened in 2007.

However, they rebounded to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in their Champions League group-stage opener, kick-starting a current run of one loss in 21 home games.

“I think it’s a fantastic run at home,” manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

“We can say Wembley is our home and that is so important for the team.

“Since the beginning of the season and last season when we used to play here in the Champions League or Europa League, it was a strange feeling, a difficult feeling.

“Now I think for our fans and us, it’s like our home.”

Pochettino’s men seem to relish playing big teams at Wembley this season.

Since losing to Chelsea in August, they’ve beaten Liverpool, Dortmund, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal there.

And next up is Italian giants Juventus, twice Champions League winners and runners-up twice in the past three seasons.

“Of course, we are going to play one of the best teams, or clubs, in Europe,” Pochettino said.

“It will be very tough but I think we are going to arrive in a perfect condition to challenge them.”



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