By William Hill
Last Updated: 7th January 2020
Luuk de Jong’s late equaliser at the Philips Stadion last night left Tottenham with one point from three games in Champions League Group B, but the William Hill traders retain plenty of respect for their chances of reaching the knockout stages, pricing them up at odds of 7/2 to qualify.
Historical precedents are usually the first positive people search for in such scenarios and, while they exist, they’re far from the only reason to believe the Lilywhites can reach the round of 16 for the second successive season.
Some historical precedents:
As recently as 2012/13, Turkish titans, Galatasaray managed to make light of claiming a single point from their first three games, going on to best Cluj away, Manchester United at home and Braga away to squeak through on head-to-head records.
Nine seasons earlier, Arsenal pulled off the same feat in another group featuring Internazionale, smashing up the Italians 5-1 in Milan, having previously lost the sides’ London meeting 3-0.
The Gunners played two of their first three matches away in that particular campaign, just as Spurs have done, before winning their next three to end up winning the group by two points.
For those concerned beating Barcelona may not be banker material, Porto also managed to qualify from their 2004/05 group despite amassing just two points after four games, winning their last two fixtures to proceed.
PSV and Inter have to come to Wembley
Tottenham could quite easily have taken four points, if not six, from their road trips to Group B’s more beatable foes but for lapses of concentration that were mercilessly punished.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side should have the beating of both on home turf, having won four of their last six Champions League games at their temporary dwelling, only losing to multiple recent-years competition finalists Barcelona and Juventus during that sequence.
PSV have won one of their last 10 away games at this level (with that coming in qualification) and Spurs are priced up at odds of just 4/11 to best the Dutch side in the capital next month.
They face Barcelona in the last game of the group stage
Despite their unimpeachable status among the continent’s footballing elite, not since 2002/03 have the current runaway leaders of the Lilywhites’ section actually finished their section with a 100% record.
Playing the Blaugrana last of all, when they’re highly likely to have qualified and maybe even won the group, could see Spurs face a weakened side or at the very least one lacking the utmost motivation.
Pochettino’s side have previous for strong showings away to European heavyweights too, having held Real Madrid and Juventus to draws and beaten Dortmund on road trips last season – they’ve actually lost only two of their last nine away games in the Champions League.