Alderweireld: Spurs fear nobody in Champions League

Date published: Thursday 25th August 2016 9:01

Toby Alderweireld insists Tottenham’s young players will head into the Champions League with no fear.

Spurs will learn which clubs they face in the group stage draw on Thursday, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all potentially lying in wait.

Tottenham have not featured in the Champions League since Harry Redknapp’s side lost to Madrid in the 2010-11 quarter-finals and few of the current crop have experience of Europe’s premier competition.

Alderweireld is an exception, having played for Ajax before reaching the final with Atletico Madrid in 2014, and the Belgian defender feels Spurs are capable of stepping up.

“We’re looking forward to it. We’re very excited to play in the Champions League and I think it will be the next step for the young team we have,” Alderweireld said.

“I think after training we’ll watch the draw together, like every draw – the Europa League before and now the Champions League.

“Pot one is only the best teams so obviously we’re going to draw at least one good team – and in the Champions League they’re all good teams so it will be fun and good to show ourselves and to compare ourselves with the big teams.”

Tottenham are likely to be placed in pot three on Thursday, meaning they could draw a pot one club like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Juventus, as well as a pot two team such as Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund or Sevilla.

A kinder pick of the balls might include CSKA Moscow or Benfica from pot one and Bayer Leverkusen or Napoli from pot two.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men will also play their Champions League home games at Wembley this season, as building work on their new stadium restricts logistical operations at White Hart Lane.

“I think just let it be a group where we can go through. That’s important,” Alderweireld said.

“We don’t have to look too far in the future, we have to see game by game. It will be a very good experience for everybody, to play at Wembley as well with the fans behind us.

“We can go through and you have to believe that we can win every game.”

Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris is battling to be fit for the first tie, which will be played on either September 13 or 14.

Lloris is out for four weeks with a hamstring injury but Pochettino has insisted he is confident the Frenchman will recover in time.

Alderweireld believes Lloris’ replacement Michel Vorm, who kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, has proven he can fill the void.

“We know him quite well and we speak the same language as well,” Alderweireld said.

“Michel’s a top goalkeeper and in training he always shows that he will be ready when Hugo is injured or something else. He played well on Saturday.”

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