Tottenham Hotspur will host AC Milan in the second leg of the Round of 16 UEFA Champions League on March 9. The hosts currently trail by a goal deficit as Brahim Diaz scored inside seven minutes to give AC Milan an advantage.
After Antonio Conte went for surgery Tottenham assistant coach Cristian Stellini took the charge and made his presence felt on the sideline. With Antonio Conte back the hosts will be keen to restore Tottenham’s form and their season. While talking in the pre-match press conference the Italian manager reflected on the pressure of this game.
“The pressure, we live with this type of game. We live with it for these moments because when the pressure is going up it means your level is going up. Don’t forget that last season we were playing Conference League. This season we’re playing Champions League. We won our group and tomorrow we have the chance to beat Milan and go to the next round.”
“Don’t forget the past and we needed to go step by step. If you ask me if I want to win the Champions League I would say yes, but then there is the reality. We have to go game by game,” Antonio Conte said.
Tottenham currently sits in the fourth position in the Premier League with 45 points. Liverpool is right on its tail with 42 points with a game in hand. If Liverpool wins their game in hand, they will move on to the fourth position with the same number of points but with a better goal difference.
If Tottenham wins this tie, then it will serve as a moral boost for the entire team to progress further in the Premier League. On the other hand, just like their opponent AC Milan is in a similar position in terms of league standing. It will be important for them to progress further in the Champions League as well. The title defenders have failed to keep up with the pace of league leaders Napoli. While talking in the pre-match conference AC Milan’s manager Stefano Pioli emphasized on their current position.
“We’re on a bit of a wave. We go into this one with a lot of confidence, enthusiasm and determination. We need to approach the game well, keep our shape and hold our nerve. We’ll have to be at our best technically and make good decisions. Key moments could make all the difference. The lads will need to put their personality on display. The slim lead doesn’t mean we can sit back: we need to attack,” Pioli said.
Tottenham will rely on their three key players, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski. While AC Milan will look to counterattack with Rafael Leao, Olivier Giroud and Theo Hernandez. (ANI)