Spurs v Real Madrid preview
Tottenham need to pull off one of the finest comebacks in Champions League history if they are to overturn a 4-0 deficit against Real Madrid.
Last Updated: 13/04/11 7:05pm
Tottenham need to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in UEFA Champions League history if they are to overturn a 4-0 deficit against Real Madrid.
Harry Redknapp's men travelled to the Santiago Bernabeu for last week's quarter-final first leg in high spirits, but their European dream turned into a nightmare on a disastrous night.
The damage was partly self-inflicted after Peter Crouch's dismissal for two reckless challenges left them playing with 10 men for 75 minutes, but Real were still impressively ruthless in taking advantage.
Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor again tormented Tottenham with two goals, before late strikes from Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo effectively extinguished the Londoners' hopes.
The Spurs camp has remained surprisingly positive in the build-up to Wednesday's return match at White Hart Lane, though, with players and manager alike saying they believe in miracles.
History suggests it is not possible, with no team ever coming back from such a heavy first-leg defeat in the Champions League to make it through to the next round.
Jose Mourinho also specialises in protecting leads that are not as considerable as 4-0, while Real have such attacking weapons that they will fancy their chances of scoring an away goal that would leave Spurs requiring six.
Tottenham's belief comes from the knowledge that their supporters will generate an electrifying atmosphere inside White Hart Lane, and Redknapp will be hoping to make a fast start that could bring an early lead and rattle Real.
Redknapp therefore has little option but to play to his strengths and select an attacking line-up, and it will have provided some encouragement that, on Saturday, Spurs ended a run of four games without a goal by beating Stoke 3-2 in the Premier League.
Aaron Lennon, whose late withdrawal due to illness got Tottenham off to an ominous start in Spain, also missed the Potters clash but is back in contention after training on Tuesday.
Midfielder Tom Huddlestone and central defender Younes Kaboul are also available after returning from injury against Stoke, while Steven Pienaar has shaken off a groin problem.
Croatian duo Vedran Corluka (ankle) and Niko Kranjcar (foot) are doubtful after missing Tuesday's warm-up session, while Crouch is suspended so Redknapp will have to decide whether to go with Jermain Defoe or Roman Pavlyuchenko up front.
Real welcome back striker Karim Benzema following a torn hamstring but he faces competition for a starting spot from first-leg hero Adebayor and Gonzalo Higuain.
Sami Khedira has also recovered from a bout of flu to take his place in the squad, although Pepe is suspended and Lassana Diarra (hip), Pedro Leon (knee) and Fernando Gago (groin) are all out.
Mourinho has refused to take anything for granted and says he will treat Tottenham with the respect they deserve.
Having geared up for their trip to the English capital with a 3-0 victory away to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, Mourinho is nevertheless confident of finishing the job.
And if Real do secure an aggregate success they will go on to face fierce domestic rivals Barcelona, who saw off Shakhtar Donetsk, in a mouth-watering semi-final tie.