D-Day imminent for Spurs and Inter

Pride is probably the best thing both teams can hope for in their second leg Champions League ties.

    One will not be enough if Leonardo's Inter Milan are to overturn their deficit against Schalke [GALLO/GETTY]

    After suffering huge defeats in their first leg quarterfinal ties, Tottenham and Inter Milan need to re-write the history books if they are to progress to the next stage of the European Champions League on Wednesday.

    And if they weren't facing hard enough challenges, their rivals Real Madrid and Schalke aren't about to rest on their laurels.

    Real Madrid travel to White Hart Lane brimming with confidence after demolishing Spurs 4-0 at the Bernabeu last week. 

    During the week Real coach Jose Mourinho paid Spurs and English football the greatest respect by saying only an English team could overturn a four-goal deficit.

    Out for more

    Mourinho will encourage his team to play more attacking football at White Hart Lane.

    "We have to respect Tottenham and we have to respect football, because football sometimes can betray you and you cannot give it the chance to do that," Mourinho said.

    "I don't think five goals is enough for Tottenham to beat us because we are coming here to score goals."

    Schalke's manager Ralf Rangnick is also eager for his team to hit the back of the net in front of their home crowd despite already securing a comfortable 5-2 advantage over Inter.

    "We have to go out and be equally dominant as in Milan. We will play as if it is 0-0."

    In the Tottenham and Inter camps, the managers and players have been doing their best to look for any positives.

    Inter coach Leonardo told reporters, "Inside I believe that anything is possible. I believe it and the players believe it too. Eto'o perhaps believes it more than anyone."

    Bowing out gracefully

    Leonardo had previously said it was "unrealistic" to expect his side to turn things around but Inter still plan to go and hold their heads up high as they all but certainly wave goodbye to their cherished trophy which took 45 years to regain.

    Spurs too are likely to show the spirit that has been a feature of their Champions League adventure which ended almost before it started back in August.

    Spurs were 3-0 down after 28 minutes of the first leg of their qualifying playoff against Young Boys in Berne before losing 3-2 and then qualifying for the group stage with a 4-0 win in the second leg in London.

    In the group stage they were losing 4-0 at halftime to holders Inter Milan before a Gareth Bale hat-trick in the second half pulled the score back to 4-3. Spurs then beat Inter 3-1 in the return in London.

    Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said: "It has been a great experience so far and I am sure it will be a great experience on Wednesday. We will give it our best shot and see what happens."

    They will have to do that without striker Peter Crouch, sent off last week, while Real Madrid will be without the suspended Pepe.

    A famous comeback

    Spurs really do need something miraculous to happen at White Hart Lane. No team has ever overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit in European competition.

    "No... I haven't told them that," Redknapp joked.

    "They might call me up and say "What is the use of me coming, can I go shopping?''

    However, Tottenham and Inter can look to Deportivo La Coruna’s match against AC Milan in 2004 for inspiration. After losing the first-leg 4-1 Deportivo went on to win the tie in dramatic fashion, scoring four goals in the second leg and winning the quarterfinal 5-4.

    The experienced Inter coach Leonardo knows all too well that when it comes to football anything is possible.

    "Why can't what happened in San Siro happen here?''

    Indeed, why not?

    SOURCE: Agencies


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