Tottenham vs RB Leipzig Predictions and Champions League Round of 16 Preview
When Tottenham and RB Leipzig clash on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchups, this will mark the first-ever meeting between the two sides. It will, however, mark the second straight season that Tottenham has to navigate German opposition in the Round of 16 - something they did with ease in last year's competition. Both teams got to this point in different fashions as RB Leipzig topped Group G with 11 points (3-2-1). Tottenham finished second in their group on 10 points (3-1-2) behind the powerhouse Bayern Munich.
Tottenham has not experienced much success in European competition, winning just one UEFA Cup Final all the way back in 1984. Since then, they were beaten in the Champions League finals just last season but have undergone some major changes this year, which leaves me uncertain they can get back to the finals.
Their opponent, RB Leipzig, currently sits within striking distance of the top of the Bundesliga table, trailing Bayern Munich by just one point. In Europe, RB Leipzig has tasted very little success, but that's to be expected for a relatively newly promoted team who has taken the German league by storm. This is just their fourth season in topflight German football, so a Europa League quarterfinal in 2017-18 and a round of 16 appearance in this year's CL competition is impressive for such a small club.
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As it currently stands, RB Leipzig is the slight favorite at (-165) to advance to the quarterfinals. If you believe that RB Leipzig can pull a Leicester City and shock the world, you can get them at +4000 to lift their first-ever European trophy. If you believe that Tottenham can catch lightning in a bottle twice in two years, you can get a piece of them at +2000 to win the tournament, behind the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich or +120 to advance to the quarterfinals. If you need some help with deciding on who to choose, Doc's offers up a great soccer service for you that runs almost 24/7/365. You can sign up now by clicking here.
First Leg: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London; Wednesday, February 19 @ 3:00 pm
Second Leg: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig; Tuesday, March 10 @ 4:00 pm
When Jose Mourinho was brought to Tottenham, it was expected that he change the philosophy of the team and start getting the proper results for a team that houses some great talent. It's been a slow process, but the results are starting to come to fruition as Tottenham are without a defeat since losing to Liverpool on January 11. That marks a run of seven games unbeaten, with five wins including three straight entering this matchup with Leipzig. Tottenham have found their goal-scoring boots despite being without the injured Harry Kane. What's even more impressive is that the team has started to buy into Mourinho's defense style of football, having given up just 8 goals over the last seven games.
In terms of team news, the team already knows it'll be without Harry Kane for both legs, but Erik Lamela could be in line for a return after sitting out the Aston Villa game on the weekend with a groin problem. Aside from that, Mourinho has a full squad to choose from and the attacking options are all in great form at the moment.
Probable Starting XI: Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Alli, Winks, Lo Celso; Son, Moura, Bergwijn
RB Leipzig Storylines
RB Leipzig has it all to play for. And by "all," I mean both on the domestic and continental front. Leipzig trail Bayern Munich by just one point for first place in the Bundesliga but will have a good go at Tottenham as they believe they are the better side. Leipzig won 3-0 on the weekend against Werder Bremen, putting to rest a four-match winless run that threatened to derail the domestic chase. Leipzig will be in good form knowing the fact that Tottenham Stadium has seen more goals than any other stadium so far this CL season with 20 - 11 for Tottenham, nine against.
We expect Leipzig to play on the counterattack but when they get going, they are lightning-quick and can score in a hurry. In terms of team news, they have no first-team regulars out of the lineup, and the 11 they will likely choose for this contest offer up plenty of speed and goal-scoring ability - led by German striker, Timo Werner.
Probable Starting XI: Gulacsi; Mukiele, Klostermann, Halstenberg; Sabitzer, Haidara, Laimer, Angelino; Nkunku; Werner, Poulsen
RB Leipzig vs Tottenham Prediction
They say that style makes the fight and this matchup figures to be a contrast in styles. Tottenham have been known to venture forward more often under Mourinho, while Leipzig will likely try to sit back and soak everything up before striking on the counterattack. We've seen the Tottenham backline carved up by teams who possess speed and Leipzig has an abundance of it. However, we can't underestimate the value of experience and with Spurs. Much of the team who made the Finals last year has returned, so they know what it takes to progress in this tough competition. The first leg line is Tottenham (O) -105, Leipzig (O) -115 with the total set at 3 (+115 to the over). I would bank on goals being scored, so I'd try to find a 2.5 goal line somewhere, and I'd take a shot with Tottenham to advance at +120.
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