Tottenham travel to RB Leipzig on Tuesday, as they look to overturn a first-leg deficit. Although they didn’t manage to win the first leg, they will be encouraged that they only conceded a one-goal lead. On the night, the Bundesliga team were far superior and had the chances to score more. Jose Mourinho will still see himself as a top tier coach, but there have been many doubters of that in recent years. This will be a chance for him to prove that he still can deliver a tactical masterclass at the highest level.
Leipzig remain in good form across all competitions, with the club five points off the lead in the Bundesliga. They are currently unbeaten in six matches across all competitions, including their first leg victory in North London. It was a comprehensive display from the German side, as they outclassed Tottenham in their own stadium. If it is a similar match on Tuesday, there is only going to be one winner. However, Leipzig are inexperienced at this stage of the Champions League and that will give Mourinho encouragement that he can get his side through.
Unlike Leipzig, Tottenham are in terrible form, having lost four and drawn one of their last five matches. They managed to put an end to their run of losses on Saturday, with a draw against Burnley. However, their performance was still a worry. The comments following the match suggested that there are big issues behind the scenes, with Tanguy Ndombele publicly criticised. Mourinho needs to get back to winning ways to ease the criticism.
Leipzig have only conceded one goal in their last six matches across all competitions. This included matches against Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.
Tottenham have only failed to score once in their last ten matches. That came against Leipzig in the first leg.
This is another opportunity for Timo Werner to impress against Premier League opposition. It is expected that he will leave Leipzig at the end of the season, with a number of big European clubs monitoring his situation. Liverpool are believed to be one of those and this is a chance for the striker to show his quality against one of the Reds’ Premier League rivals. He did well in the first fixture, scoring the winning penalty from the spot. Further to this, he was a constant threat with his movement and reading of the game. During the match, he had four shots and made one key pass. Throughout the course of the season, he has been very prolific from the left-wing, contributing 27 goals across all competitions. Tottenham have been very poor defensively since Mourinho took over and there will be space for Werner to exploit on Tuesday night. The visitors will need to be positive, which will leave gaps in the channels for the forward to run into. He could be the player that puts the tie beyond Spurs.
It has been a baptism of fire for Steven Bergwijn following his January arrival from the Eredivisie. He would have expected to be eased into the first team, but injuries have dictated that he is a regular starter. There have been encouraging signs for supporters, as the Dutchman has contributed two goals in the Premier League. His contributions in possession have been positive, as he rarely makes the wrong decision in the final third. This is best shown by his pass success rate of 86.7% in the league, which is high for an attacking player. In the Netherlands, he was seen as a creative player, but this hasn’t been shown at Tottenham yet. If they are to get through to the next round, they will need the 22-year-old to be influential in Germany. This is another chance for the attacker to show his quality at the highest level.
Willy Orban and Ibrahima Konate will be missing for the home side, but Dayot Upamecano will be back from his suspension. Ethan Ampadu and Kevin Kampl are both doubts for the Bundesliga team.
Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko remain the long term absentees for the visitors. Dele Alli could be leading the line as a makeshift striker, following his goal at the weekend.
It is very difficult to back Tottenham to win any game at the moment. They are out of form and the manager seems incapable of finding a system that works with the available players. Leipzig are very difficult to break down and they can attack with pace, which Tottenham will struggle to deal with. The first leg showed the difference in quality. The home side should win to progress with comfort.
RB Leipzig 3-1 Tottenham