AFTER a brilliant weekend, Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) returns with views on Spurs’ latest Champions League match.
Spurs v Bayer Leverkusen | Wednesday 19:45 | BT Sport
It could all get very tight and tense down Wembley way on Wednesday night when Tottenham take on Bayer Leverkusen in a crucial Champions League clash.
Spurs fluffed their lines in their opening match of the competition against Monaco, with Mauricio Pochettino’s team crumbling to a miserable 2-1 defeat against the Ligue 1 side.
To their credit, the north Londoners have bounced back with a hard-fought 1-0 win against CSKA Moscow before earning another precious point in a goalless draw against Roger Schmidt’s side in Germany last month.
Leverkusen have been held in six of their last seven Champions League ties – including in all three of their opening fixtures in the group stage this season – and another close call looks to be the most likely outcome when these two teams meet again in London.
Spurs will be hoping to have key striker Harry Kane back in action for the north London derby against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon and there is no doubt that the 23-year-old front man has been a big miss for Pochettino’s team.
Indeed, Tottenham have found the net just twice in their last four matches – and both of those were penalties – but Leverkusen will barely be licking their lips at the prospect of playing this match for they have a significant problem of their own; an abysmal away record in the Champions League.
Schmidt’s outfit have failed to come out on top in any of their last seven matches away from home in this competition and Bayer – who made the Champions League final at Hampden Park back in 2002 (was that really 14 years ago?!) – failed to find the net in three of those fixtures.
Furthermore, five of those seven matches featured fewer than three goals, while Spurs have seen more than two goals scored in just one of their last seven outings in all competitions.
Pochettino’s men have conceded just five goals in 10 Premier League matches this season – the best defensive record in the top flight by a distance – and it’s tough to imagine Tottenham making it easy for Leverkusen to get amongst the goals.
For Spurs and their supporters, a scrappy 1-0 will do; the visitors will feel the same way and while there is undoubtedly plenty to play for, it seems unlikely that such tension will make for a thrilling spectacle.
Punters, therefore, are advised to back fewer than three goals at 42/41 with Marathon ahead of Wednesday’s crunch clash.
Spurs v Leverkusen – Under 2.5 Goals (42/41 Marathon)