Tottenham Hotspur vs Bayer Leverkusen: Probable Lineups, Tactics, Key Stats and Prediction

It’s Match Day 4 in the UEFA Champions League as Tottenham Hotspur host Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley on Wednesday looking to get one step closer to the knockout stages

The reverse fixture at Bay Arena last month saw Tottenham and Bayer play out a hard-fought goalless draw that left things tight in Group E with just three points separating the four teams. In a match where chances were few and far between, Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela came the closest to score for Spurs, while on the other hand Javier Hernandez’s attempt was thwarted by a fantastic reflex save by Hugo Lloris.

A win for either side will see them inch closer to qualifying for the Round of 16, while the loser of the tie will be left with a sizable task with two games left in the group stages.

Probable line-ups and Tactics

Tottenham Hotspur

Toby Alderweireld is facing a race against time to be fit for the match on Wednesday and the Belgian defender is likely to miss out having only resumed light training last week. In midfield, Erik Lamela missed last week’s league game against Leicester City due to an illness and he remains a doubt after sustaining a minor knock in training on Tuesday.

The midweek game also comes too early for Harry Kane with Mauricio Pochettino expecting the striker to be back in full training on Thursday.

The match should see Spurs boss Pochettino dish out a 4-1-4-1 formation with Eric Dier slotting in alongside Jan Vertonghen in the heart of the Spurs defence.

Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies should start as the full backs, with Pochettino expected to rest first team regulars Kyle Walker and Danny Rose keeping in line with his rotation policy.

In midfield, Victor Wanyama should continue as the team’s defensive midfielder to shore up Tottenham’s defensive output. Ahead of him, Heung-Min Son and Moussa Sissoko are expected to line up either side of attacking midfielders Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.

Vincent Janssen should start as the centre forward, leading the Spurs attack full of confidence after scoring his first league goal against Leicester.

Probable Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Lloris; Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama; Sissoko, Alli, Eriksen, Son; Janssen

Tottenham Hotspur 4-1-4-1 football formation

Bayer Leverkusen

For the travelling side Bayer Leverkusen, talismanic winger Karim Bellarabi (torn abductor muscle) and striker Joel Pohjanpalo (metatarsal fracture) remain the only long term absentees. Captain Lars Bender is also an injury doubt with the midfielder battling to regain fitness from a knock. Defenders Jonathan Tah and Omer Toprak also have minor knocks but the centre-back duo should be fit enough to start the match.

Roger Schmidt’s side have endured a tough start to their domestic campaign with four wins from their opening nine league games leaving them 10th on the Bundesliga table.

Goals have been hard to come by for Leverkusen, scoring just 13 times in the league so far, and even though they are unbeaten in Europe so far their struggles in front of goal have seen them toil hard for the three stalemates.

Schmidt is expected to start with his trademark 4-4-2 formation with Benjamin Henrichs, Tah, vice-captain Toprak and Wendell lining up in the back four.

The midfield should see the inclusion of the usual suspects with Admir Mehmedi and Hakan Calhanoglu attacking from the wings, and Charles Aranguiz and Kevin Kampl occupying the central midfield slots.

Kevin Volland and Javier Hernandez are expected to lead the line, tasked with overturning Bayer’s fortunes in front of goals.

Probable Starting XI (4-4-2): Leno; Henrichs, Tah, Toprak, Wendell; Mehmedi, Aranguiz, Kampl, Calhanoglu; Volland, Hernandez

Bayer 04 Leverkusen 4-4-2 football formation

Key Stats:

  • The match at Wembley is only the third competitive meeting between the two sides. Spurs are yet to lose to their German visitors on Wednesday (W1 D1).
  • Bayer Leverkusen have only won two of their last 24 Champions League away games (D7 L15).
  • Leverkusen are winless in eight away games in England, drawing once and losing seven times.
  • Tottenham are on a five-game losing run at the new Wembley, including the 2-1 Match Day 1 defeat to AS Monaco.
  • Three Bayer Leverkusen players rank among the Top 10 for tackles made – Benjamin Henrichs (12), Lars Bender (11) and Kevin Kampl (10)


Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Tottenham come into this game on the back of a five-match winless run, one of which was the reverse tie against Leverkusen, and Pochettino will be keen to turn the tide come Wednesday night. Spurs lost the only ‘home’ game they have played so far in this year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League, losing to AS Monaco 2-1.

Goalscoring has come at a premium for the North Londoners in the last month or so and the lack of goals has been one of the prime reasons for their recent struggles. Winless in five, Pochettino will be keen to see his side bounce back to winning ways come Wednesday.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, haven’t been in a great run of form either having only turned a four game winless run with a win over Wolfsburg last week. Their problems mirror that of their hosts on Wednesday with their attacking midfielders and strikers finding it hard to put the ball at the back of the net.

The match signals the beginning of the home stretch of the group stages and with both sides in contention to reach the knockout stages, this should be a keenly contested affair. Leverkusen have a poor away record in England though and Spurs, backed by a roaring home support, are expected to come out on top on Wednesday night.

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