Pochettino: Juve a level above Spurs

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted that Juventus are a team of greater pedigree ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash in Turin.

The English and Italian sides meet for the first leg of their round-of-16 tie with Spurs relatively inexperienced in the competition, while Juve are battle-hardened.

"I think Juventus are an exceptional team; we cannot make comparisons," Pochettino said on Monday.

"In history they have won everything and reached the final twice in the last three seasons. We are a young team and we are still building our project. Our dream is to get to the level of Juventus: we will see tomorrow if we can compete with them."

Spurs have already impressed to reach this stage of the competition after finishing top of a group that included Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

"We cannot change our principles," Pochettino added. "We will have to be aggressive, brave, respect our opponents. When I started playing I dreamed to be involved in games like this but now I think step by step.

"When the draw for the group stage happened everybody thought Real Madrid first, and Dortmund second. We won the group stage instead and now we are here.

"We have to show the desire to go to the next stage, play well, score goals, something which is so tough to do here. We must be competitive and keep going the way we are playing. Some of our recent performances were fantastic and we can certainly play again on that level tomorrow."

Juventus will be without the services of Paulo Dybala after the Argentine striker was ruled out with a hamstring issue, but Pochettino expects them to cope without him.

"He is a great player and Juve are, of course, a bit different without him," Pochettino said.

"Like [Lionel] Messi, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Neymar, Dybala has the capability to give the team different options. Of course, however, Juve have a lot of players who can replace him, [Federico] Bernardeschi for example."

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