Opinion: RB Leipzig are hands-down favourites to win against Tottenham
- If they fail to win on Tuesday, then this will be another year away from any major silverware for Spurs.
As Tottenham Hotspur travel to the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany to take on Red Bull Leipzig for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash, the most dominant thought in Spurs manager Jose Mourinho's mind will be that of revenge. Having smarted under despondency after being handed a 1-0 defeat by the German outfit at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the first leg, the Portuguese will be hoping that his team can change things around and claim a victory on Tuesday. Knowing his mercurial nature and inconsistency that Spurs are showing these days, it remains, however, a big ask.
Spurs will be without the services of England captain Harry Kane, who continues to be a long-term absentee from the squad, as well as Son Heung-Min and Moussa Sissoko, both of whom have had quite a big role in the starting XI whenever they have played. With attackers Son and Kane both out injured, Mourinho may have to turn to Dele Alli and Lucas Moura to play as central strikers. This is bound to throw the team off balance. Left-back Ben Davies is also a doubtful starter, which means that their defence can be shaky too.
Leipzig, on the other hand, are on a good run of form, having won against Werder Bremen and Schalke and drawn against Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg either side of their victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tottenham, however, come into this game on the back of losses to Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City and a draw against Burnley. The lack of star power has clearly affected Mourinho's side. But they will be hoping to pull some prestige back on Tuesday.
Leipzig's Timo Werner, who scored the lone goal in the first leg clash, is doubtful to start on Tuesday and this may give a ray of hope to the team from north London. However, the Germans have enough firepower in their side to keep going without Werner. Christopher Nkunku, Patrick Schick and Emil Forsberg are well capable of turning games on their own. Manchester City and Arsenal loanees Angelino and Ethan Ampadu too are doing well enough for Leipzig.
Mourinho will hope that his young players Harry Winks and Gedson Fernandes, led by the largely inconsistent Alli will be able to salvage some pride for Spurs on Tuesday. Also, assisting them will be young Argentine Giovani Lo Celso. If they fail to do so, then this will be another year away from any major silverware for the London club and Mourinho is then bound to remain unimpressed.
Published 10 Mar 2020, 12:14 IST