Tottenham Hotspur host RB Leipzig in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 on Wednesday, and the Bundesliga side, currently second in the league, will be a tough nut to crack for the North Londoners.
Boss Jose Mourinho knows his side must prevent the German team from scoring goals so as to have an advantage heading into the return leg, and it’ll be interesting to see how Spurs look to keep a team that have scored 56 goals in 22 league games quiet.
Shutting out Leipzig striker Timo Werner could be the key to securing a great first-leg result for Spurs, though, and Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham has warned them of the threat the Germany international poses.
“Werner is the second top scorer in the Bundesliga with 20 goals in 22 games and in Germany he is nicknamed ‘Turbo’ Timo, because he is so quick. The worry for Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is that Serge Aurier often plays like a right-winger and leaves a lot of space behind him,” Higginbotham wrote in The Sun.
“And Leipzig are one of the top counter-attacking teams around. Tottenham cannot afford to have big gaps as Werner will look to exploit them and get in behind Aurier.
“It is something they have to be very careful with. As Tottenham are at home, the onus is on them to try to take something to Leipzig. But that does not mean Mourinho will not set them up as the away team to a certain extent. He will know all about the threat of Werner and Leipzig.”
Werner is reportedly available for £50 million this summer, and with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said to be interested in his services, the 23-year-old will be more than keen to prove himself against Tottenham.
Aurier will have to limit his attacking runs in order to prevent Werner from capitalizing anytime he overlaps, and Higginbotham reckons Jose could opt for “the more defence-minded Japhet Tanganga instead.”