AS Monaco vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Spurs facing potential must-win clash

Monaco host Tottenham Hotspur in matchday five of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

AS Monaco vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Spurs facing potential must-win clash
Alderweireld scores for Spurs against Monaco (photo: Getty Images / Clive Rose)

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Monaco knowing failure to win in France may mean the end of their UEFA Champions League campaign this season.

A must win game?

Spurs sit third in group E behind opponents Monaco, who lead the group, and Bayer Leverkusen. Mauricio Pochettino's team know that if they don't win in France on Tuesday and Leverkusen win in Russia against CSKA Moscow, their first Champions League campaign in six seasons will end before the turn of the year.

Things obviously look precarious for Tottenham, but it's still in their own hands because if they win this game and the match against CSKA at Wembley, they will book their place in the last 16 as Monaco and Leverkusen play each other in matchday six, meaning one must drop points.

Frustrating campaign thus far

For being England's third ranked team in the Champions League this season, Spurs would have been pretty happy with the draw they got in terms of not having to play a super club. However, things have not gone to plan with just one win and four points as many games on their long awaited return to the competition.

Not playing their home games at White Hart Lane appears to be the defining factor for Spurs, as like their North London rivals, Arsenal 15 years ago, they've really struggled to perform on the grand stage of Wembley Stadium. This match is their final away one of the group though, and they've picked all four of their points on the road.

Last time out, Monaco had the upper hand

The return fixture between Tottenham and Monaco was back in matchday one at Wembley where an expectant 80,000 plus Spurs fans were left disappointed as Monaco ran out 2-1 winners. First half strikes from Bernardo Silva and Thoma Lemar gave Spurs too much to do, despite a goal back from Toby Alderweireld

Team news

Alderweireld will not be able to score against Monaco again, as he is out with a knee injury alongside Ben Davies and Erik Lamela.

Pochettino has said he might be unwilling to risk certain players ahead of other games to come, but European progression has to be of importance to the club so you'd expect the likes of Harry Kane to still start if fit.

Stats

Monaco have only kept one clean sheet in 10 games against English opponents, but Spurs have never won an away game against French opposition.

Monaco have only lost two of their last 19 home games in this competition, their last home group stage loss was against Rangers in 2000.

Tottenham have failed to score more than one goal in their last eight Champions League games.