Hareide raises Eriksen concerns

Denmark head coach Age Hareide has flagged up concerns that Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen could be struggling with a 'chronic' stomach injury.

The 26-year-old playmaker has missed the last four games played by Spurs, despite club boss Mauricio Pochettino being upbeat about the problem not being anything more than a short-term issue.

However, Hareide has suggested that the issue could turn out to be something more serious, having ruled out having Eriksen available for the upcoming clashes with the Republic of Ireland and Austria.

He told Denmark's Canal 9: "Christian has an issue with an abdominal muscle and Tottenham have tried to say it's a long-term problem.

"It's been over a week and I know he's known about this problem for a while. Such an injury can become chronic and I think that's what Tottenham are fearing as well.

"Hopefully that won't happen with Christian."

Meanwhile, Pochettino has dismissed suggestions that his club are under pressure to take the next step in their development by winning a major trophy in the near future.

The Argentinian told the Evening Standard: "People talk too much about Tottenham. Tottenham must win titles to improve, but that's not true.

"We can win a title, but it's not compulsory to win a title, that's the difference. Compulsory to the team that have spent a lot of money, but it's not the case for us."

Tottenham are available at 4/6 to finish in the top four in the Premier League this season, while they are 8/1 to lift the FA Cup for the ninth time in their history.

View all Soccer betting

Martinez confirms Vertonghen woe

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is set to be out of action for between four and six weeks, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

Vertonghen suffered the injury in Spurs' 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Belgian defender was hauled off at half-time in West Yorkshire and was then forced to sit out Tottenham's 4-2 Champions League defeat at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday.

Martinez has now confirmed Vertonghen, who is already out of Belgium's upcoming games with Switzerland and the Netherlands, could be out of action for up to six weeks.

The news comes as a big blow for Tottenham, as they will have to do without the 31-year-old for some key encounters.

West Ham at the London Stadium, Manchester City at home and the two Champions League matches against PSV Eindhoven are coming up and manager Mauricio Pochettino could have to do without one of his star defenders.

Next up for Pochettino and Spurs is a home encounter against strugglers Cardiff City, who are yet to secure a win in the Premier League this season.

Spurs are 1/4 to win, 23/4 to draw and 12/1 to lose to Neil Warnock's side at Wembley on Saturday.

Spurs assistant boss Jesus Perez later added abaout the injury to Vertonghen: "We had one scan with him and another scan on Monday to see how bad the injury is.

"It could take a while, it is not a normal injury. It was a stretch and that kind of injury has to be assessed properly. A second scan (will be needed) before we know the timeframe of that sort of injury."

View all Soccer betting

Martinez reveals extent of Vertonghen injury

Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is set to be out of action for between four and six weeks, according to Belgian boss Roberto Martinez.

Vertonghen suffered the injury in Spurs' 2-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Belgian defender was hauled off at half-time in West Yorkshire and was then forced to sit out Tottenham's 4-2 Champions League defeat at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday.

Martinez has now confirmed Vertonghen, who is already out of Belgium's upcoming games with Switzerland and the Netherlands, could be out of action for up to six weeks.

The news comes as a big blow for Tottenham, as they will have to do without the 31-year-old for some key encounters.

West Ham at the London Stadium, Manchester City at home and the two Champions League matches against PSV Eindhoven are coming up and manager Mauricio Pochettino could have to do without one of his star defenders.

Next up for Pochettino and Spurs is a home encounter against strugglers Cardiff City, who are yet to secure a win in the Premier League this season.

Spurs are 2/9 to win, 6/1 to draw and 14/1 to lose to Neil Warnock's side at Wembley on Saturday.

View all Soccer betting

Spurs response pleases Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino was proud of the way his Spurs team reacted to conceding an early goal to push Barcelona hard, before eventually losing out 4-2 at Wembley.

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho gave the visitors the lead inside two minutes, with Ivan Rakitic making the half-time score 2-0 to the Catalan giants.

However, the second half was a 2-2 draw, with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela netting for Tottenham and Lionel Messi adding a double for Barcelona.

And, while being annoyed by such an early concession, head coach Pochettino was full of praise for the reaction of his players as the game progressed.

He told reporters: "To concede a goal so early, we destroyed the plan. If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players.

"We were handicapped after conceding after one minute and I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

"That is why I want to congratulate the team, because we were always in the game, always fighting, never giving up – I feel so proud. I'm disappointed with the result, but the effort was massive.

"To give that advantage to a team like Barcelona is so difficult to come back from. The most important thing was our character."

Spurs are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they welcome in winless Cardiff City.

The Londoners are 1/4 to win the game and 15/2 to claim a 3-0 victory, with Tottenham 8/13 to go on and secure a top-four finish this season.

View all Soccer betting

A Cosmopolitan Champions League Clash in the Capital

Tottenham Hotspur vs Barcelona

It has so many hallmarks to be a Champions League classic.

Two attack-minded teams with defences which can be breached too easily at times locking horns at the home of English football.

No wonder us fans are salivating at the prospect.

Talking Points

Much of the Champions League 2018 news in the build-up to this has focused on the comments of the Catalan’s star man Lionel Messi.

After a 2-1 defeat at Leganes last week, Barcelona needed the introduction of Messi to help them earn a point on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao.

He then was shown a yellow card after the full-time whistle for airing his frustrations too much for the official’s liking.

It capped a disappointing few days for the club and led to the mercurial number 10 to call for a fast improvement by his team.

There’s no chance coach Ernesto Valverde will not start Messi and Sergio Busquets this time. It is precisely this game they were rested for at the weekend.

Champions League: Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and company to face Tottenham at Wembley

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at the bench during their La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao

Sergio Roberto, who started in place of Busquets, likely will miss the trip to England after coming off injured against Bilbao, as will Samuel Umtiti.

New signing Malcom has also been left out of the 20-man squad.

Despite not playing particularly well and dropping seven points from three games, Barcelona certainly should not panic.

They remain top of La Liga and very much possess an excellent squad, if not quite the dominant force they have been at times over the past decade.

Of course, Barcelona have fond memories of Wembley, the scene of their 1992 and 2011 European Cup triumphs.

This is a crucial spell for the club with fixtures against Valencia, Sevilla, Inter Milan and arch-rivals Real Madrid all to come during October.

After their defence was breached so emphatically in the past week, Harry Kane and co will fancy their chances.

Remember, Spurs beat European Champions Real 3-1 at Wembley last season and cannot afford another defeat after going down late on in their opening group match to Inter Milan a fortnight ago.

Spurs have injury problems of their own with Dele Alli still absent from the home midfield with a hamstring strain.

He missed Spurs’ Premier League match at the weekend along with Christian Eriksen (abdominal) and manager Mauricio Pochetino was forced to replace both Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele at half-time.

Both Belgium internationals are doubts as is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who has missed the past six matches with a thigh problem.

Pochettino had more players at the latter stages of the World Cup than any other club manager and it’s no coincidence, he believes, that many of his players are picking up niggling injuries after failing to have a proper summer break and then missing the majority of pre-season training.

The impressive Pochettino spent six years at Espanyol as a player and then manager but he has admitted that has made it ‘impossible’ to ever manager the Catalonia giants in the years to come, despite many casting an envious glance at the Argentinian’s progress.

Pochettino was heavily linked with a move to Real in the summer following Zinedine Zidane’s decision to step down.

He admits interest in his work is further validation for his work in North London and appreciates the club and his reputation continue to grow.

That is just another reason why this match could be the most compelling of the week.

History

Only twice before have these two clubs met in a competitive fixture.

That was in the 1982 European Cup Winners Cup semi-final.

A late Graham Roberts goal earned Spurs a 1-1 draw in the first leg at White Hart Lane on a night in which Barcelona were strongly criticised by the English media.

Barca won the second leg at the Nou Camp courtesy of an Allan Simonsen goal to progress to the final (2-1 on aggregate) which, by chance, was also played at the Nou Camp and saw them defeat Standard Liege 2-1.

Betting Tip

??
Tottenham Hotspur vs Barcelona Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.09
October 4, 03:00 (GMT+8)

Despite a poor week by their standards, Champions League 2018 betting odds favour Barcelona.

1X2 Barcelona @ 2.06shows that with Spurs priced @ 3.40 and the draw @ 3.45.

If you fancy Spurs to lead at the break, there’s a tempting First Half 1X2 Spurs @ 4.10 and an appealing First Half 1X2 Barcelona @ 2.63. The First Half 1X2 draw is a safer option @ 2.11

Asian Handicap -0.75 Barcelona @ 2.38 contrasts with Asian Handicap Spurs + 0.25 @ 2.12.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Pochettino relishing Barca test

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to beat Barcelona at Wembley on Wednesday as he is a fan of Espanyol.

Espanyol are Barcelona's city rivals although they are a much smaller club than Spurs' Champions League opponents.

Pochettino's side are in need of three points against Barca after losing their opening group match 2-1 to Inter Milan last month.

"[Facing Barca] motivates me, being an Espanyol fan and living for so many years in Barcelona," said the former Southampton coach.

"It is more than understood [that I will never take over] … My path and that of Barcelona are different, opposite directions. Coaching there would be impossible.

"Winning a game is always nice and when you win against Barcelona, even more so, because that would mean something important for us.

"For me, (Lionel) Messi is still the number one (player in the world) and will be until he retires."

Dele Alli will miss the game because of a hamstring injury while Pochettino has also revealed that he will check on the fitness of Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele after they picked up muscular injuries on Saturday at Huddersfield Town.

Spurs, 50/1 to win the Champions League and 8/13 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, are 13/5 to beat Barcelona on Wednesday.

Pochettino happy with attitude

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said his players attitude had been fantastic as they comfortably came away from Huddersfield with all three points.

Two first half goals from Harry Kane were enough to seal the victory and send Spurs into the top four in the Premier League.

It was their third win in a row having also progressed in the EFL Cup in midweek and, coming after a mini-crisis with three successive losses, it left Pochettino happy with the revival.

He told the BBC: "It was a tough game against a team desperate to win. They were helped by their unbelievable fans, among the best I have found in England. Which is why we are so pleased to have three more points in the table today.

"We are in the Premier League, it is tough, physical. Teams like Huddersfield are difficult to play. I think it is a normal the actions that happened today."

The result leaves Huddersfield still without a win this season and bottom of the table, behind Cardiff and Newcastle on goal difference.

Other results on Saturday saw Manchester City remain unbeaten having won 2-0 at home to Brighton with goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Arsenal recorded their seventh straight win in all competitions overcoming a stubborn Watford 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

It was goalless going into the last 10 minutes but a Craig Cathcart own goal and another from Mesut Ozil gave the Gunners all three points and moved them up to fifth in the table.

At the other end of the table Newcastle's winless start to the season continued as they lost 2-0 at home to Leicester.

Other winners on Saturday were Wolves over Southampton and Everton who beat Fulham 3-0.

Spurs meanwhile are in Champions League action in midweek at home to Barcelona and are 5/2 for the win, Barca are 19/20 with the draw 14/5.

Spurs are 50/1 to win the Champions League with Barcelona 6/1.

View all Soccer betting

Pochettino refuses to rush Dele

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he will not risk rushing injured England international midfielder Dele Alli back into the action.

The 22-year-old has not featured since the recent international break, sitting out the losses to Liverpool and Inter Milan due to a hamstring problem.

He is close to being in contention for a place in the Spurs squad for the visit to Brighton on Saturday, but Pochettino insists that the interests of his players will always come first when a return to the fold is under discussion.

He told reporters: "We still we need to wait until tomorrow to assess whether he will be part of the squad. Maybe we need to wait a few days more to involve him.

"We are never going to put ourselves or our interests in front of taking risks for a player. It's impossible.

"We need to feel they are 100 per cent. Football is a sport you always assume the risk, but if you are conscious to take a risk it is impossible to take that decision."

Meanwhile, Pochettino insists that he will not make major changes despite three consecutive defeats, adding: "You cannot change because you win or lose. That is the most important thing.

"If you are strong, in the end you are going to have success. If you change it is difficult to have success because you cannot work day by day."

Tottenham are 8/11 to win at Brighton on Saturday, with Harry Kane 8/11 to score at any time, while the Londoners are 5/6 to secure a top-four finish come the end of the season.

View all Soccer betting

Late Inter loss deflates Poch

Mauricio Pochettino was left disappointed that a good performance by Tottenham Hotspur counted for little as they were beaten 2-1 at Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Spurs appeared to be on course for a famous victory in the San Siro when they led 1-0 with five minutes to play, courtesy of a Christian Eriksen goal.

However, the hosts hit back late on through Mauro Icardi and Matias Vecino to snatch victory and leave head coach Pochettino frustrated by what he felt was a strong display go unrewarded.

He said at his post-match press conference: "The performance was good from the team, the result should have been different and I think everyone will agree.

"The team deserved much more and I think that was our best performance since we started the season, but we lost the game.

"The team played so well, I am happy with their performance and their character but, of course, disappointed with the result.

"Of course, we stay positive. It will be tough to play against Barcelona (next), but we need to win, we need to try to give our best. But first of all we have Brighton on Saturday."

Spurs have now lost their last three games, all by a 2-1 scoreline, with the defeat in Milan following Premier League reverses against Watford and Liverpool.

The Londoners will be looking to get back on track on Saturday when they head to the South Coast to take on Brighton, with this Premeir League fixture having ended 1-1 last season.

Another 1-1 draw on Saturday is priced at 7/1, with the visitors 8/1 to claim a 2-0 victory and 15/2 to win thanks to the only goal of the game.

View all Soccer betting

Kane vows to silence critics

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has played down suggestions that he is struggling and insists he is feeling sharp and does not need a rest.

The 25-year-old scored 41 goals last season but, despite winning the Golden Boot at World Cup 2018, he did not seem to be at his predatory best for England in Russia.

Kane has also made a quiet start to the Premier League campaign and seemed particularly forlorn during Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Wembley.

However, the forward says he is happy with his game and has no intention of missing Spurs' Champions League match against Inter Milan at the San Siro on Tuesday.

He said: "People are always going to look for stuff, especially when you are a big part of the team and someone who is there to get the goals.

"As a team we can all do better and as the striker you get spoken about more, but I feel sharp and fit and if I wasn't the manager would not be picking me.

"He believes in me, I believe in myself and hopefully I can score a couple of goals on Tuesday and it will be put to bed."

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has also indicated that Kane will start against Inter, saying: "I think we would be crazy to think different. He's one of the best strikers in the world. I don't care that he wasn't great [against Liverpool].

"He's going to score goals and he's going to perform in the way we want and we expect. No problem."

Kane is 21/20 to score at any time against Inter Milan while Spurs are 11/1 to beat the Serie A outfit 2-0. Meanwhile, Pochettino's team are 5/6 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this term.