Mauricio Pochettino says that Tottenham believes fully that they can beat Barcelona and an increase in the Champions League, but he has warned that he must continue to rest key players to ensure they reach the Camp Camp Nou with a fighting challenge.
Pochettino Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min, who were both the 3-1 Saturday 3-1 over Chelsea, left a re-success for the European Union against Europe, before being introduced in the second half.
Reaching Eriksen was particularly important as the late Dane strike had secured a 1-0 win that took Spurs above Interface in Group B and ensured that a win off Barca would take place within two weeks to accommodate the north of London in the percussion periods.
"We have great respect for Barcelona, one of the best teams in Europe," said Pochettino. "Of course they have amazing players and it will be so hard – but one thing we have is our belief and belief that we can win. Only again we need to show a good level to compete at our best .
"To get to Barcelona and compete at our best, we need fresh legs, fresh thoughts, no injuries. In order to get that way in Barcelona, we need to control and we have to rotate the squad If not, the requirements of the Senior League are so difficult.
"We play at the Champions League and [Carabao] Cup against Arsenal in the Emirates. Playing games every three days is so hard – so difficult for us, and for our players, it's so difficult. They will not get one day away until January. "
Barcelona could rest some of its most influential players against Tottenham next month, as they have already finished the group, but Pochettino said: "I do not know [what they’ll do]. I expect them to play with the best players but today I do not know how they will prepare the game.
"What Barcelona does not do in our hands, but of course in the Champions League, no-one will give you a presentation and it is not careful about the outcome.
"It will be very competitive but of course, they have qualified first with 13 points. Us and Inter can only reach 10 points. Everything is possible in football, but now we need to focus on a Sunday Arsenal – another huge game for us. "
Given the physical demands on its players, Pochettino has suggested a rule change that would enable him to roll and replace players repeatedly.
"I can not play with 13 players," he said. "One thing I do not like in football is that rule. We may need to change to subscribe, such as basketball, so you can get in and out.
"If you have time, I think you need to see our games. When we started against Chelsea, we would play 12 games in 40 days – that means we play every three days.
"To do that there is no player – maybe the keeper – who can play in the games 12. The most important thing is to avoid risk, mix the team with different players and rotate so every player feels important . "