This will be just the second time that Tottenham have faced Bayer Leverkusen, emerging from the BayArena victorious in their last visit in UEFA Cup action in 2006 with a 1-0 win courtesy of Dimitar Berbatov’s strike against his former side. With two games played, this fixture could prove decisive with the two sides currently second and third in the group.
Leverkusen have had some inconsistent form in a season which has been a rollercoaster ride to date. Currently sitting in a disappointing mid table position, the side suffered their third league defeat of the season at the weekend only a week after stunning Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 victory. With two draws from two games in the Champions League, their start has been average, and they will now hope to kick on after conceding a last minute equaliser against Monaco having previously thrown away a two goal lead against CSKA Moscow.
For Spurs, European football has been the most disappointing aspect of their campaign to date. Defeat to Monaco on their return to the Champions League at Wembley was their only loss to date this season, though Saturday’s draw at the Hawthorns was perhaps the worst display of the season with Dele Alli’s late equaliser avoiding another defeat as the team seemed to lack momentum after being on fire going into the international break.
Bayer Leverkusen predicted starting XI Tottenham Hotspur predicted starting XI
Roger Schmidt is expected to name an unchanged line-up from the eleven that suffered defeat at Werder Bremen at the weekend, though Admir Mehmedi may compete with Kevin Volland to partner former Manchester United man Javier Hernandez up front.
There are likely to be four changes for Mauricio Pochettino, with Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier returning as they have been rotated in Europe with Eric Dier stepping in at central defence with Toby Alderweireld unavailable. Vincent Janssen is likely to lose his place to Son Heung Min.
Suspensions and Injuries
One of Bayer Leverkusen’s biggest names will be watching on from the sideline as Lars Bender continues to recover from a calf injury, though midfielder Vladlen Yurchenko could come into contention after a similar strain. Joel Pohjanpolo and Karim Bellarabi are both long term injuries for Schmidt and will once again be unavailable for the German side.
Harry Kane remains sidelined by an ankle injury which is likely to keep him out for a number of weeks, but the fresh injury concern for the Lilywhites is the absence of Belgian centre half Toby Alderweireld who is set to miss out with a knee injury sustained in the draw against West Brom. That injury is likely to keep him out for the next fortnight, with Eric Dier expected to step in to replace him in defence.
This one could go either way, with Leverkusen’s huge inconsistencies meaning that it is hard to predict what kind of side will turn up at the BayArena on Tuesday night. Spurs will miss Alderweireld and are lacking firepower at the moment, but have the edge in terms of overall quality. We’re going for a draw.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by hnns_schtt.