Mauricio Pochettino has told his Tottenham Hotspur players only they can turn Wembley into a Champions League fortress as they look to get a crucial three points this evening.
Spurs take on Bayer Leverkusen in Group E tonight, hoping to break the club’s miserable run of form at the national stadium.
Tottenham sit second in Group E, one point ahead of Leverkusen and one behind Monaco, who are top with three matches left to play.
They have won only once in six matches at the new Wembley, their most recent disappointment coming in September’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to Monaco, in front of a record crowd of 85,011.
Tottenham will play all their Champions League games this season at Wembley while their new stadium is being built and Pochettino has urged his players to turn it to their advantage.
“It’s true that it’s a big motivation for the opponent when they come to England and they play at Wembley,” Pochettino said.
“It was for me. To come here to England and play at Wembley against England, it was a fantastic experience.
“But it must be for us, not only a motivation, but it must inspire us, because 90,000 people being behind us must be a big problem for our opponent. And it’s in our mind to create that energy.
“It’s our responsibility to create the atmosphere, that says ‘okay, it’s an exciting thing to come here and play at Wembley but it will be tougher for you too to play against Tottenham, because you play against 90,000 supporters that are very excited and bring all of their energy to us’.
“That is our responsibility to create that atmosphere.”
Harry Kane will not feature against Leverkusen but could return for the north London derby against Arsenal on Sunday.
Kane has been absent for just over six weeks after injuring ligaments in his right ankle but the 23-year-old was involved in first-team training both on Monday and Tuesday.
“(Against Leverkusen), no, not on the bench,” Pochettino said. “Sunday? Maybe, maybe.”
Toby Alderweireld is also out. The Belgium defender has missed the last four matches with a leg injury and Pochettino admitted there have been some “slight problems” with his rehabilitation.
Erik Lamela has recovered from the illness that kept him out of the squad against Leicester on Saturday but is still a doubt after feeling a problem in his hip on Tuesday.
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