Tottenham Hotspur vs RB Leipzig: Preview, Team News, Prediction and more
This Wednesday, it will not just be the first time that Tottenham Hotspur would be facing RB Leipzig, but also the first meeting between footballing legend Jose Mourinho and upcoming star Julian Nagelsmann.
It will also be the battle of differing philosophies between the two as an intriguing clash awaits fans at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
Both managers will come into the game bereft of some of their best players. If Mourinho is lacking strikers, then Nagelsmann finds himself short of central defenders. A strange coincidence that evens out one’s advantage over the other.
Nagelsmann’s team has taken the Bundesliga by storm, although they have relinquished their position at the top to Bayern of late. They will face a resurgent Spurs team that has not in all fairness clicked yet but still manages to eke out results.
Tottenham must be wary of the pacy German side who can hit them on the counter. Any away goal will add more pressure on an already stretched Spurs attack. Mourinho will look to blunt another free-0flowing team in their tracks as he surely would have picked up some pointers in his trip to Germany to watch Leipzig.
With the teams more or less matched and having diverse strengths, it promises to be an interesting game. Tottenham will hope they can keep going in the competition as they aim to build upon last season’s heroics.
Jose Mourinho’s injury problems got a lot worse with Son Heung-Min now ruled out for at least few weeks. The South Korean attacker joins star striker Harry Kane on the sidelines as Tottenham find themselves scrambling for striking options.
Juan Foyth and Erik Lamela are doubtful, with the latter having a shot at making it. Moussa Sissoko remains sidelined with a long-term injury. The return of Ben Davies will give Mourinho a reliable option at left-back. The Welshman impressed on his return against Aston Villa. New signing Steven Bergwijn is almost certain to make his Champions League bow for the Londoners.
In stark contrast to Mourinho’s predicament, Nagelsmann’s issues lie in central defence. Willi Orban and Ibrahima Konate are injured while Dayot Upamecano is suspended. Nordi Mukiele is expected to deputize for the Frenchman.
Tyler Adams and Kevin Kampl are also both injured for Leipzig.
Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld, Serge Aurier, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn.
Peter Gulacsi, Nordi Mukiele, Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Halstenberg, Marcel Sabitzer, Amadou Haidara, Konrad Laimer, Angelino, Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner, Yussuf Poulsen.
Players to watch
It will be a big night for the January signing. The Dutchman scored on his debut against Manchester City and won a penalty in his second start against Aston Villa. He should start up front due to the absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
The versatile attacker can play anywhere up front and will prove to be a hard man for the German side to track. Leipzig are without a couple of their defenders and French lynchpin Upamecano is also out suspended. This should even the odds in favour of Bergwijn as he attempts to blow the roof off Tottenham Hotspur stadium once again.
The main goalscoring threat in the German side. Werner has been prolific this season. He has scored 25 goals in 30 games and will be hungry for more.
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Tottenham’s defence has struggled so far this season and a lot will depend on how much discipline Aurier can show. If the Ivorian leaves space behind, it could be catastrophic for the Londoners. Alderweireld is also on the slower side and Werner could prove to be a threat if he drifts to the Spurs left.
Nagelsmann sets his teams up for the counter and Tottenham will need their fullbacks to be positionally aware of their markers at all times.