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Michael Taylor 19th Oct 2010 - 9:26

Do Spurs have anything to fear from Inter?

When the Champions League group phase draw was made all Spurs fans wrote one date in their diaries, Wednesday 20 October - the day their participation in Europe's elite club competition was to become real.

Tottenham's actual campaign might have started two game days ago but it was matches against the likes of Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona that the fans dreamed of and now it's up to Harry Redknapp's boys to show what they're made of.

As it happens it could be the perfect opportunity as well with this year's Inter paling in comparison to the masterful outfit Jose Mourinho created during his tenure in Milan.

It's early days yet for new manager Rafa Benitez but he's hardly taken up from where Mourinho left off with his side residing in third in Serie A with only eleven goals scored from seven games.

Add into the mix their woeful week one Champions League performance which saw them leave Holland with a single point after a miserable draw against Group A makeweights FC Twente and a picture is painted of a not quite functional unit.

For me though the biggest key to Tottenham's potential to cause an upset is the manner in which Juventus went to the San Siro at the start of October, set up shop and found defending out a 0-0 draw fairly easy.

The name Juventus may resonate as footballing giant but in reality there's little to choose between them and Spurs in terms of ability - in fact it's fair to argue the Londoners may have the more talented squad.

Players such as Luca Modric, Peter Crouch, Gomes and William Gallas, now the heartbeat of White Hart Lane, don't only have tonnes of ability they've also been there and done it either internationally or with past club or both.

Another plus for the boys from north London is they've shown their versatility thus far in launching a dual assault on the Champions League and Premier League this season - any doubts of one campaign taking precedence over the other has quickly been dismissed.

They're fifth domestically and second in Group A, trailing Inter by a single goal after two games - a scenario I believe could remain the same after Wednesday.

This isn't to say Spurs aren't up against it in Italy, after all the treble winning team from last year are still in place.

Benitez's defence is arguably the best defence in the world with Lucio anchoring it so perfectly as we saw in every round last year while Maicon is probably the best attacking right back in football.

Their midfield and attack isn't half bad either, hardly a surprise given it includes Cambiasso, Sneijder, Eto'o and Stankovic, however it isn't firing on all cylinders so the loss of Ledley King for the more mobile Sebastian Bassong might not be disastrous.

The one thing I'm particularly looking forward to is the battle between Crouch and Lucio.

We know Lucio can deal with everything on the ground, can he deal with crosses towards a 6'7'' centre forward though?

Werder Bremen certainly couldn't as the Englishman grabbed a double and I wouldn't bet against Crouchy causing similar havoc here and would be my only Spurs goalscorer bet at 8/1 first scorer or 11/4 anytime.

As for Inter it's a much harder task to pick out their main goal threat with Eto'o not producing in big quantities and Milito being unavailable, however I would say Sneijder looks a bit of value at 11/2 first scorer and 6/4 anytime.

For Harry he'll surely be glad of no goalscorer talk at the final whistle with a 0-0 draw surely delighting him (priced at 11/1).

Despite the class within his ranks the Spurs gaffer will most likely give his team the mandate of staying organised and tough at the back with Crouch more important in terms of holding the ball up rather than causing mischief in Julio Cesar's box.

With this in mind the 21/20 about fewer than 2.5 total match goals is my favourite bet in this one.

The draw at 13/5 also looks well priced and is sure to keep Tottenham's well earned momentum heading in the right direction.

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