Tottenham Hotspur have a significant advantage over Manchester City as they prepare to take on Pep Guardiola’s men in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Spurs will face City at home on Tuesday, April 9th before the return trip on Wednesday, the 17th; thereafter, they will face them in the Premier League the following Saturday.
Spurs’ move to their new stadium has seen supporters’ excitement reach fever pitch.
They are finally free of Wembley, the corporate national stadium, and there is ebullience at the club surrounding their chances of reaching the semi-finals of Europe’s elite competition.
Mauricio Pochettino, speaking at half-time of Sunday’s first test event, a clash between Spurs’ Under-18 team and their Southampton counterparts, expressed just that belief.
He said, via the Daily Star: “We know we have a massive challenge in the quarter-final of the Champions League but with all our fans, 62,000 people behind us, we can make possible our dream to be in the semi-final. Why not?
“This is our new house, our new home, and it’s going to be magic. White Hart Lane was magic, but this is going to be one of the best in the world.When it starts to feel like home, it will be unbelievable. I really believe the future of the club is going to be fantastic.”
Spurs, all of a sudden, have a very real opportunity to achieve history.
They have never before progressed beyond the last eight of the Champions League but, with the stadium open, and Wembley shed, there is a very real possibility that the stars could align for Spurs.
Indeed, in their last two “home” meetings with City, both at Wembley, Spurs have lost, first by a score of 3-1 in April 2018 and secondly by a score of 1-0 in October 2018.
In their final clash with City at White Hart Lane, Spurs ran out 2-0 winners in 2016. In 2015, too, they won 4-1 at home.
City’s atmosphere is hardly ferocious.
A widely-seen clip on Twitter showed fans “celebrating” a goal in the 7-0 thumping of Schalke 04 in the last round of the Champions League. That there were no limbs, as is common parlance on social media, is something of an understatement.
Spurs, by comparison, produced a remarkable atmosphere in the 3-0 win over Dortmund at Wembley, roaring their team to a phenomenal result.
That can only get better in The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as it is currently known.
City crashed out of the competition last season in front of a frenzied Liverpool crowd at Anfield.
History could well repeat itself this season. Of course, the second leg of the tie is at the Etihad Stadium. But, as we have established, that is unlikely to strike fear into any Spurs player’s heart.