TIME TICKING FOR POCH’S TOTTENHAM
Tottenham’s improbable rollercoaster run to the club’s first ever CL final last season has masked a steady decline in results for Mauricio Pochettino’s men stretching back to February. Pochettino remains without a trophy after five seasons in charge. Spurs travel to Olympiakos on Wednesday with Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade to come in Group B. Tottenham should be confident of progress to the last 16 for a third straight season, but their form over the past seven months means they can take little for granted.
PEP CHASES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE VINDICATION
After a series of painful Champions League failures, Pep Guardiola is on a mission to seal his Manchester City legacy by finally getting his hands on the trophy again. City start their latest bid to win the club’s first European Cup with a trip to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Group C opener on Wednesday. The long flight to Ukraine will give Pep plenty of time to ponder his curious streak of CL flops in recent years. It has proved impossible for Guardiola to master since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium. They are already five points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premiership after Saturday’s defeat at Norwich. At least City have what looks on paper a relatively undemanding group, with Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb their other opponents.