Tottenham Hotspur vs CSKA Moscow Preview: Spurs fighting for Europa League qualification

Tottenham Hotspur vs CSKA Moscow Preview: Spurs fighting for Europa League qualification

Tottenham welcome Russian champions CSKA Moscow to White Hart Lane for each side's final Champions League fixture in this campaign.

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On the final UEFA Champions League matchday, Tottenham Hotspur face CSKA Moscow this Wednesday in a battle for UEFA Europa League qualification.

With both sides out of contention for qualification to the Champions League knockout stages, one side will walk away from London with a place in the Europa League knockout stages.

The reverse fixutre provided a 1-0 victory for Spurs after an Igor Akinfeev error allowed Son Heung-Min to score the deciding goal.

Europa League important for Spurs

After a torrid Champions League group stage experience for Mauricio Pochettino, the Argentine's side will leave Wembley with Europa League football or no European football at all.

Spurs have managed one win, one draw and three losses so far in the Champions League. Fans were dreaming of a campaign similar to their last Champions League experience in 2010-11, where Harry Redknapp's side earned 11 out of a possible 18 points and went on to the quarter-finals - only to be defeated by Real Madrid

Now, there is a real possibility that Spurs fans may not experience Europa League football. Having qualified for the competition five seasons running, they'll be extremely disappointed if their current side can't achieve a similar feat. Nonetheless, many critics have seen the competition as a distraction from the Premier League for Spurs in recent years.

Current manager Pochettino disagrees, stating that it's "important for the club to be involved in the Europa League" and that playing no European football is "always difficult" for the so-called big teams. The message from the manager is clear - only a win will do and he intends to go and secure it. 

CSKA will hope to spring a surprise

With Spurs having lost both European games at Wembley so far this term, CSKA will be hoping to be the third side to spring a surprise in London.

They come into the game unbeaten in their last six, and have only lost two of their group games, compared to Tottenham's three. However, the Russian side haven't managed a win yet, so need victory in order to qualify for the Europa League ahead of the Premier League side.

Their chances won't be helped by Toby Alderweireld's return to the Tottenham squad, following over a month out with a knee injury. 

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