The Champions League returns this week with four of the last 16 ties playing their first legs over the next 48 hours.
Juventus, Basel and Porto all host English clubs this week while Wednesday night sees the potentially epic clash between Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain.
The other quartet of ties have their opening leg on February 20/21 when Manchester United travel to Sevilla and Chelsea meet Barcelona in what is sure to be a cracker.
For now, however, the focus is on Tuesday night’s fixtures where Spurs take on Juventus and Manchester City will look to leave Switzerland with a win and one foot in the quarter-final when they play Basel.
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur
Juventus record against English teams:
Juventus have played English clubs on 20 occasions in the Champions League era winning six times, drawing five and losing nine.
Juventus team news:
This might just be the perfect time for Spurs to play Juventus as the Italian champions are without several key players for tomorrow’s clash. Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Andrea Barzagli and Blaise Matuidi are all set to miss the first leg at the very least.
Potential line-up: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro, Marchisio, Pjanic, Khedira, Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic.
Tottenham Hotspur record against Italian teams:
Spurs have met Italian opponents on four occasions in the Champions League winning only once, drawing once and losing twice.
More recently, Spurs met Lazio and Inter Milan in the Europa League, winning once, drawing twice and losing 4-1 in the return leg in Milan.
Tottenham Hotspur team news:
Apart from Toby Alderweireld, Mauricio Pochettino has a full team to choose from and is likely to start with the same team that defeated Arsenal at the weekend.
Lloris, Trippier, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Davies, Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane
Despite the fact that Juventus are without their talismanic Argentinean international Paulo Dybala, among others, the Italian champions haven’t lost a game since mid-November and are on a twelve-match winning-streak at present.
The Turin outfit have vast experience in Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira and carry a threat up front through the prolific Gonzalo Higuain. Their mean defence has conceded only 15 goals in 24 league games.
Spurs, however, should be going into this clash confident in their ability to get a result.
They were at their dynamic best against Arsenal at the weekend and ought to have won by three or four goals.
Having already shown their quality in away games against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund this season, Spurs might just be too slick for the Italians.
Verdict: Juventus 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
FC Basel vs Manchester City
Basel record against English teams:
FC Basel have played English opponents on eight occasions in the Champions League and have an impressive record of three wins, four draws and just one defeat.
FC Basel Team News:
FC Basel are without their number one goalkeeper Germano Vailati who is recuperating from a long-term injury but otherwise have a full strength team to choose from.
Potential line-up: Vaclik; Lang, Suchy, Balanta, Petretta; Stocker, Serey Die, Xhaka, Elyounoussi; Oberlin; Van Wolfswinkel
Manchester City record against Swiss teams:
This will be the first time that Manchester City have played Swiss opposition.
Manchester City team news:
Pep Guardiola has been given a huge boost ahead of their away trip to Basel with the news that Leroy Sane has recovered quicker than expected and will make the squad for Tuesday evening’s game.
David Silva may also play a part in the clash as he has also been cleared for action. However, Gabriel Jesus has not recovered in time for the match though he could feature in the return leg at the Etihad.
Potential line-up: Ederson; Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan; B. Silva, Aguero, Sterling
FC Basel will take confidence from the fact that they have already defeated Manchester opposition in the Jakob-Park Stadium this season: a 1-0 win against Manchester United back in November. Basel are currently second in the Swiss league.
That said much like the majority of teams this season, FC Basel are unlikely to be able to live with the pace, power and awesome talent of one of the best teams in the world right now.
With Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in irresistible form at present and with plenty of options off the bench, City will make light work of a spirited Basel team but one without even a fraction of the quality of their opponents.
Verdict: FC Basel 0-4 Manchester City
Kevin Boyle, Pundit Arena