Reserve Spurs forwards face depleted Leipzig defence in “battle of the Mourinhos”


Tottenham have had a very good week. They eked out a hard fought win over Aston Villa in Birmingham. This increased their chance of a lucrative Champions League place.

A Toby Alderweireld equaliser to his own goal and two from Son Heung-Min secured the win.

More importantly, the UEFA ban on Manchester City increased those chances monumentally as a top five finish as opposed to four will secure one.

They are seven games unbeaten although the first of those seven was against Championship  outfit Middlesbrough.

Of course the best way to secure a Champions League place is to win it and that will be the matter on hand at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Who are RB Leipzig?

Their opponents are RB Leipzig who also had a good week, beating Werder Bremen 3-0 which leaves them only a point behind current Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

Manager Julian Nagelsmann is nicknamed the Baby Mourinho in Germany after former Germany goalkeeper Time Wiese cheekily coined the phrase in 2012.

The Leipzig bench had nine players from nine different nationalities that day and the starting eleven contained seven.

Lukas Klostermann, Patrik Schick and Nordi Mukiele were on target with Welsh international and on loan Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu playing the last half hour, his first appearance in three months.

His knowledge of English football could well put him secure his place in the starting 11 for this game. The same might apply to England under-21 international Ademola Lookman, signed from Everton for £22m but yet to make an impact.

Ampadu’s cause is helped by Leipzig availability issues. Two defenders Ibrahima Konate and captain Willi Orban are injured for Leipzig’s Champions League tie against Spurs. A third, Dayot Upamecano is suspended, leaving them without a recognised central defender.

Alternatively, weekend scorer Lukas Klostermann should shift across from full back to partner Marcel Halstenberg, with Nordi Mukiele dropping back into defence.

Forwards to look out for are Timo Werner who is the second top scorer in the Bundesliga, Swedish winger Emil Forsberg, Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen, and Austrian winger Marcel Sabitzer.

Werner has registered 25 goals and 10 assists in all competitions so far this season. Across Europe’s top five leagues, only Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/ Red Bull Salzburg), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-German) and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern) have better numbers.

Talking of Bayern, there is an ominous defensive comparison.

Tottenham lost 7-2 at home to Bayern, and 3-1 in Munich. Leipzig became the first team this season to keep them out in a 0-0 draw in the Bavarian capital recently.

Harry Kane and Son, who broke an arm in that Villa win, are unavailable for Spurs which leaves Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn to play up front for Spurs.

Probable line-ups

Tottenham: Lloris (c) – Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Tanganga – Dier, Winks – Lo Celso, Alli, Bergwijn – Lucas
Out: Kane (hamstring), Sissoko (knee), Son (broken arm)
Doubtful: Lamela (groin), Davies (ankle)
Coach: Jose Mourinho 

Leipzig: Gulacsi – Mukiele, Klostermann, Halstenberg, Angelino – Laimer, Haidara – Sabitzer (c), Olmo, Werner – Schick
Out: Adams (calf), Kampl (ankle), Konate (hamstring), Orban (knee), Upamecano (suspended)

Coach: Julian Nagelsmann



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