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Champions League: Last Eight is the Prize for Spurs and Red Bulls

Tottenham Hotspur vs RB Leipzig

When you look at the other ties in the round of 16, the Champions League match between the Spurs and RB Leipzig may have gone under the radar for some. But while champions Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night, let’s not forget that Spurs were beaten finalists in last season’s competition.

And RB Leipzig is one of the most ambitious clubs on the planet, so this has all the makings of a really entertaining battle.

At the moment neither of these two teams is talked about as a potential winner outside North London and Leipzig.

Head coach Julien Nagelsmann has guided RB Leipzig to second in the Bundesliga table, and they are genuine contenders, having earned a point away to FC Bayern recently.

 

Talking Points

Spurs on the march

Not every Spurs fan has been happy with their lot this season. Even since changing head coaches in November all has not been rosy in the garden. Jose started with a flurry of wins and then stuttered a little, but he seems to have steadied the ship once again.

Heung-Min Son’s last gasp winner against Aston Villa on Sunday took the Whites up to fifth in the Premier League, and within a point of Chelsea, before the Blues match with Manchester United on Monday night. And the win was their third in a row, while Spurs are seven unbeaten and have won their last four home matches.

Champions League: Can Son Heung-min add more goals to his tally?
Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal against Aston Villa

And they have done all that without top scorer and Captain Harry Kane. The England skipper bagged six goals at the Champions League group stage, while Son has scored five in this competition.

Spurs will also be without Moussa Sissoko, but reinforcements are stepping up. Giovanni Lo Celso made the difference for the Whites when he came on as a sub against Aston Villa, while new signing Steven Bergwijn scored in Spurs 2-0 victory over Manchester City.

The Red Bulls are flying too

If Spurs are on the march then they could meet a formidable match on Wednesday when Die Roten Bullen come to town. Nagelsmann’s side beat Werder Bremen 3-0 at the weekend and are now just a point off the top of their league.

Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner have three goals each in this competition, but Werner’s Bundesliga form has been prolific, he’s scored 20 league goals already and only Robert Lewandowski has more.

Forsberg is likely to start on the bench with Patrik Schick, on loan from Roma, in line for a start. And Spurs will need to look out for flying wingback Lukas Klostermann, who was on target against Bremen and will be a constant threat.

RB Leipzig will be without club captain Willi Orban and Ibrahima Konate, both with long term injuries.

 

History

Losing the Champions League final so feebly to Liverpool last season remained former boss Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest regret when he left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November.

RB Leipzig haven’t come so close to European glory and these two teams haven’t previously met, which is little surprise as the German club was only founded in 2009. Die Roten Bullen finished runners up in their first season in the top flight in 2017 and gained entry to the Champions League. No other side has risen through the ranks to reach Europe’s premier competition so quickly.

Recent form slightly favours the hosts. Spurs come into the game with four wins and two draws from the last six games, in all competitions, while RB Leipzig have won two, drawn two and lost two.

 

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