Real Madrid and Tottenham tussle for supremacy
There is nothing between Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur FC, with each having won their first two Group H games, scoring six goals and conceding one.
• The victors at the Santiago Bernabéu will take a firm grip on the section, and Madrid have history on their side having won three of the previous four games between the clubs, drawing the other. Tottenham have never scored against Madrid in 360 minutes of football.
• Tottenham’s first UEFA Champions League campaign, in 2010/11, was ended by Madrid. The Spanish side were 4-0 winners at home in the quarter-final first leg, thanks to goals from future Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor (4, 57), and one each from Ángel Di María (72) and Cristiano Ronaldo (87); Tottenham played the majority of the match with ten men after Peter Crouch collected a second yellow card in the 15th minute.
• The teams at the Bernabéu on 5 April 2011 were:
Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo, Alonso, Khedira (L Diarra 61), Di María (Kaká 77), Özil, Ronaldo, Adebayor (Higuaín 75).
Tottenham: Gomes, Ćorluka (Bassong 80), Gallas, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Sandro, Jenas, Van der Vaart (Defoe 46), Modrić, Bale, Crouch.
• Ronaldo got the only goal at White Hart Lane in the second leg as the Spanish side completed a 5-0 aggregate victory against a Tottenham side who included Gareth Bale and Luka Modrić, both now at Madrid.
• The clubs’ only other tie came in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, when a 15th-minute own goal from Tottenham’s Steve Perryman in the first leg in London settled the contest.
• The 2-2 draw with Dortmund on matchday six last season is the solitary occasion Madrid have failed to win in their last 13 European home fixtures. The Merengues have won 32 of their last 37 UEFA Champions League home matches, losing just once – 4-3 to FC Schalke 04 in their 2014/15 round of 16 second leg, when they still prevailed 5-4 on aggregate.
• Madrid have not lost at home in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 3-2 reverse against AC Milan on 21 October 2009. Their home group record since then is W21 D2 – with Dortmund, twice, the only visitors to avoid defeat at the Bernabéu.
• Madrid have lost only one of their last 20 European matches – 2-1 at Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg, when they went through 4-2 on aggregate – winning 14 and drawing five.
• This is a second game against Premier League opponents this season for Madrid, who beat Manchester United FC 2-1 in the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje on 8 August.
• The Merengues are now unbeaten in their last 11 games against Premier League opponents (W8 D3), since a 4-0 loss at Liverpool in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg – their record UEFA Champions League defeat.
• Their last UEFA Champions League games with Premier League opposition came against Manchester City FC in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, when Madrid won 1-0 in the home second leg and on aggregate.
• Madrid’s home record against English clubs is W8 D5 L2.
• Champions of Europe for a 12th time in 2016/17 – courtesy of their 4-1 final win against Juventus – Madrid are aiming to become the first team since FC Bayern München in 1976 to claim three successive European Champion Clubs’ Cups. AFC Ajax (1971–73) and Madrid themselves (1956–60) are the only other sides to have won three or more in a row.
• In 21 previous participations in the UEFA Champions League, Madrid have never failed to progress to the last 16.
• Madrid finished second in their group in 2016/17, behind Dortmund – the first time since 2012/13 they had failed to top their section.
• This is Tottenham’s first game against a Spanish side, other than those 2011 meetings with Madrid, since a 2-1 home loss to Getafe CF in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.
• Tottenham are making their fifth trip to Spain where they have recorded one draw – that 1985 stalemate at the Santiago Bernabéu – and three defeats, the others by FC Barcelona (1-0) in the 1982 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final, and Sevilla FC (2-1) in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup quarter-final.
• The London club won their first European trophy by beating Club Atlético de Madrid 5-1 in the 1963 Cup Winners’ Cup final in Rotterdam.
• Tottenham had lost their previous two European away games before winning at APOEL. They picked up four points on their travels in the 2016/17 group stage.
• The Lilywhites have won three of their last 12 European away matches (D3 L6).
• This is Tottenham’s third time in the group stage and a second foray in as many seasons – the first time they have managed consecutive European Cup campaigns.
• Twelve months ago Tottenham came third in their group and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they fell 3-2 on aggregate to KAA Gent in the round of 32.
Coach and player links
• Pochettino had two spells in Spain as an RCD Espanyol player. He faced Madrid 16 times (W5 D2 L9), scoring once. As Espanyol coach between 2009 and 2012, he lost all seven of his meetings with the Merengues.
• Bale made 142 league appearances for Tottenham, scoring 46 times, between 2007 and 2013.
• Modrić played 127 Premier League games for Tottenham between 2008 and 2012, scoring 13 goals. He was part of the side that reached the 2009 League Cup final, losing on penalties to Manchester United.
• Fernando Llorente faced Madrid 22 times with Athletic Club, Juventus and Sevilla (W3 D2 L17), scoring eight times.
• Toby Alderweireld made 12 Liga appearances for Club Atlético de Madrid in their 2013/14 title-winning season. While he did not face the Merengues in the league, he played in Atlético’s Copa del Rey semi-final defeat and came on as a substitute during their 2014 UEFA Champions League final extra-time loss.
• Cristiano Ronaldo faced Tottenham 11 times during his Manchester United career, winning seven and drawing four and scoring four goals.
• International team-mates:
Raphaël Varane & Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sissoko (France)
Gareth Bale & Ben Davies (Wales)