After seeing their invincible home record come to a disappointing end on the weekend, Real Madrid will certainly be hoping to bounce back from their recent defeat by pulling a win at home against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho was the first man to have guided the side into the last eight of the prestigious tournament for the first time since 2004. The Spanish powerhouse have a bigger edge in winning this, having won the European Cup a record nine times, while Tottenham Hotspur are better not to be underestimated despite only reaching the semi-final once, back in 1962 when they lost to eventual champions Benfica.
Jose Mourinho, aiming to be the first manager ever in the history of the UEFA Champions League to win the trophy with three different clubs, suffered some minor setbacks after key players Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo were all reported doubtful for this crucial fixture.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp too had some bad news from the club after both Gareth Bale and William Gallas are serious doubts for the colossal encounter. Defenders Alan Hutton, Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate are already 100% out.
Real Madrid will be targeting a fifth straight home win in their UEFA Champions League campaign but history are against them – having lost 1-0 at their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu, to Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two Champions League knockout matches against Premiership sides and Tottenham Hotspur will definitely be hoping for a similar result.
Face-to-Face : Jose Mourinho vs Harry Redknapp
Played 5 – Jose Mourinho 5 : 0 Harry Redknapp
The first meeting came when Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea took on Harry Redknapp’s Southampton six years ago, a match which Chelsea comfortably won 3-1 at St Mary’s. The next four were all Chelsea against Portsmouth, including Mourinho’s last win in English football, 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in August 2007 courtesy of a Frank Lampard goal which David James allowed to slip under his body. Three games later, Jose Mourinho left Chelsea. Against Tottenham Hotspur, the well-known Portuguese has won five, drawn two and lost just one.
Team details (probable)
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe, Carvalho, Ramos; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ronaldo, Ozil; Abedayor.
Jose Mourinho might risk playing Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo in this fixture due to the high stakes.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Dawson, Corluka; Bale, Sandro, Modric, Lennon; Van der Vaart; Crouch.