LONDON: Desperate to avoid the Champions League eliminations for the second time in three years in the group stage, Tottenham face a duel against PSV Eindhoven tomorrow.
Mauricio Pochettino's team are in third place in Group B after scoring just one point in their first three games.
Tottenham's exit from the European elite club competition would be confirmed if he lost to PSV at Wembley and defeated second-placed Inter Milan against group leader Barcelona.
Even a draw against PSV is not enough if Inter wins.
This would be another miserable conclusion for a Champions League campaign that started with great hopes for Tottenham.
After Tottenham failed to complete the group stage two seasons ago, he appeared on the European stage with an impressive group win over Real Madrid last season.
The northern London club was eventually eliminated by Juventus in the last 16 years, but this narrow exit did not discourage the belief that the men of Pochettino were able to make a steady run this season.
The defeats to Inter and Barcelona, however, were the worst start for Tottenham. A late PSV draw in a draw in Eindhoven left the Premier League side in even greater trouble.
Tottenham's European concerns are surprising as they made their best start in a Premier League season – finishing fourth at Wolves after a 3-2 victory on Saturday.
This hard-fought victory underscored the pros and cons of the Pochettino team.
Thanks to the goals of Érik Lamela, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane they led their race class 3-0 lead.
In the closing stages, however, they became complacent and allowed wolves to achieve two penalties that triggered a tricky final.
Critics argued that Tottenham's close flight had been gentle, mirroring the recent jibe of former Manchester United star Gary Neville, who said the Spurs had been "spineless" for 30 years.
Inevitably, Pochettino took the opposite view, insisting that Tottenham's ability to stick to the narrow lead in Wolves' closing stages is far stronger than outsiders believe.
"I am so happy from the beginning. Since I arrived here, we have created a very good culture of struggle and faith, "said Pochettino.
"That was hard to do, but I'm so happy. It is a team that will always give faith in every game. We can win or lose, but we are so intense and today the efforts have been fantastic. "
"We came from Manchester City when we covered more than 120 kilometers, and West Ham was similar and that was the same."
"It showed that the team has a very strong character."
Tottenham needs more fighting spirit to reach the Champions League knockout rounds. The games against Barcelona and Inter Milan remain after the PSV duel.
It would help her if Dele Alli was fit after Pochettino could rest the English midfielder against the wolves.
Alli has been disturbed by a thigh problem in recent weeks, but since Tottenham is injured in midfield, he's probably facing PSV.
Mousa Dembélé hobbled against wolves with an ankle injury in the first half, Eric Dier missed the game due to a hamstring problem and Victor Wanyama has a long-lasting knee problem.
After signing a new long-term contract last week, Tottenham has relied on Alli and will seek him to repay this belief in the kind of high-stakes encounters he has to dominate more often.
"We all want to achieve something big. Even as young players, we want to continue to improve and that's a great place to do that, "Alli said after agreeing to his pay rise.
Despite his great talent, Alli has often flattered himself to deceive in Tottenham's biggest games, with more anonymous notions than memorable ones.