English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur is coming to the Signal Iduna Park this week to play us in some Europa League action. Many who don't follow the EPL closely may think of Tottenham as a upper mid table team. And this wouldn't be false most years, but this season Tottenham are in the middle of a title race in the wide open EPL.
Tottenham are a team built off their very talented youth. Sporting the youngest starting XI in the EPL, this side is bursting with potential. Their coach, former Argentine national player Mauricio Pochettino has built a team that plays off this youth by running an aggressive press. This is simmilar to what Kloppo started with us, get a team full of young talent and make them run.
Tottenham's defence has been bad for a long time, as they are usually known as an attack oriented team. This year however, their defence has been one of the best in the EPL. Even though starting CB Jan Vertonghen has been injured since January 23, Kevin Wimmer has taken his place nicely, even making important saves in the north london derby this past weekend. Toby Alderweireld, the other CB, has been one of the best defenders in the EPL this season. He's one of the players BVB should be most worried about as he's kills attacks consistently and excels at generating offense from defence. The fullback position is where Spurs get a little funky. They have a couple of options but don't have an established starter at left back or right back.
Tottenham's midfield is also a formidable threat. With converted center back Eric Dier playing in central midfield Spurs have a reliable firstline of defense to our build up play. In front of him will most likely be Ryan Mason, Heung Min Son, and Christen Eriksen. Ryan Mason is a odd player because most of his ability comes from raw effort rather then talent. He also isn't exactly loved by many Spurs fans for his one or two big mistakes a game, but he is still dangerous. Son has played against us before, being the only Tottenham player to have done so recently. His speed and cutting ability hasn't improved greatly since leaving Bayer but he's still as much of a threat to us now as he was on Leverkusen. And Eriksen, he's just a play making, shot bending monster.
Expect Harry Kane to start at Striker for Spurs. The young englishmen is a superb striker and while he hasn't put up the numbers he did last year, he is still a huge threat. As for offensive subs, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli are good options for Pochettino.
As for our line up I expect TT will go for the best XI he can put out. No resting players for the game against Mainz this weekend, as this tournament is our best chance and silverware this season. Below is BVBs official prediction for lineups.
After a hard fought tie last weekend against Bayern, I think our players will be ready to play another high quality team this week. I think we will try to force the press especially on the central midfielders and fullbacks as Mason and Trippier have trouble getting caught in those kinds of situations. Sahin will also be a treat to watch play again, and he will be very effective finding the correct passes and dribbles through the Spurs defence.
Aubameyang is going to have trouble playing against Alderweireld but with Reus and Mkhi on the wings, with the ability to cut in anytime, the offensive pressure we can mount on that Spurs backline should be enough to give us more then a few good chances at the net.
Hopefully Gundogan can keep the recent rumors from affecting his high level of play, but if not Weigl will have to pick up a lot of his slack in the midfield. Castro and Kagawa can both come on as subs this game and both are effective options against the Spurs defence. On a side note, if Castro comes on he'd be up against his old teammate Son. Don't expect to see the youngsters Pulisic or Passlack in the lineup this week as TT has stated he wants to give them more playing time on the lower level.
My score prediction is that we can beat Spurs 3-1 with Auba and Mhki scoring the goals, and Kane scoring the lone Spurs goal.