Spurs' dream is to reach Juventus' level - Pochettino

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Tottenham face the Serie A giants in the Champions League and the Spurs boss says their history is incomparable to that of the Bianconeri

Mauricio Pochettino says the statures of Tottenham and Juventus cannot be compared and has held up the Bianconeri as the level to which his club should aspire.

Spurs and Juve do battle in the Champions League last 16, with the first leg to be held at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday.

The Serie A giants have reached two of the past three finals, losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid, while the last of their two crowns came in 1996.

Spurs, meanwhile, are seeking only their second appearance in the last eight of the Champions League and although they have established themselves as a major Premier League force under Pochettino, the Argentine believes they are a long way behind the Old Lady when it comes to European pedigree.

"I think Juventus are an exceptional team; we cannot make comparisons," Pochettino said in Monday's media conference.

"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."

Juve will be without forward Paulo Dybala, who has lost his race to be fit for the opening leg following a hamstring injury, but Pochettino says counterpart Massimiliano Allegri has more than enough depth in his squad to cover for key absentees.

"He [Dybala] 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."

After being drawn in a tough group alongside Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, Spurs were fancied by many to make an early exit but confounded expectations to progress as winners and Pochettino is unwilling to alter his approach in the knockout stages.

"We cannot change our principles," he said. "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."

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