champions league

Leipzig go for the kill

RB Leipzig will be confident of sealing a place in the quarterfinals at the expense of last year’s finalist Tottenham Hotspurs. The two sides lock horns at the Red Bull Arena, where RB Leipzig have lost just twice this season. Tottenham have it all to do after their 1-0 defeat in the first leg, which started a five-match winless streak in all competitions.

One will, of course, remember their epic come back against Ajax last season. That was another Spurs-side altogether though and one far from resembling the current outfit. Jose Mourinho started off his reign as Spurs boss cheerfully but that has quickly given way to his trademark pessimistic rants. Tottenham still has key players out injured and are not in good form coming into this Champions League game.

Tough times ahead for Hotspurs

The past week has seen them knocked out of the FA Cup and a 1-1 league draw at Burnley. Likely to be encouraged by the problems their opponents are having, Leipzig hardly need the extra help for this match. They were much the better team for the majority of their away first and were denied only by a good day at the office for keeper Hugo Lloris. Extending that lead in Leipzig should not be a problem.

They are unbeaten in their last 11 home matches in all competitions, a run that stretches back to October 2019. Seven of those games were wins. Their Bundesliga title challenge is faltering though, and they could only draw 0-0 with Wolfsburg on Saturday. Key duo Laimer and Werner both shook off knocks to feature at Wolfsburg on Saturday and coach Julian Nagelsmann has no fresh injury worries.

Werner only started on the bench at Wolfsburg so he will start here, while right-back Mukiele is also expected to be recalled. Not counting Son, Kane and Sissoko are all still absent and new signing Bergwijn is also ruled out. It all leaves Spurs looking very thin in the offensive department.

The Champions League knockout stages are new territory for RB Leipzig, but they have proven that they are not fazed. They were impressive in the first leg while Tottenham quite simply looks in poor shape. Goals are likely but Leipzig has already kept Bayern Munich to nil this year, so it might just be the home side who finds the net again.

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