OPPONENTS Bayer 04 Leverkusen 
COMPETITION Champions League  -  Group E
DATE Tuesday 18th October 2016
VENUE BayArena
Bayer 04 Leverkusen  SQUAD 1.  Bernd LENO
3.  Aleksander DRAGOVIC
4.  Jonathan TAH
7.  Javier HERNANDEZ
8.  Lars BENDER
11.  Stefan KIESSLING
13.  Roberto HILBERT
14. Admir MEHMEDI
16.  Tin JEDVAJ
19.  Julian BRANDT

20.  Charles ARANGUIZ
21.  Omer TOPRAK
22. Joel ABU HANNA
23.  Danny da COSTA
27.  Robbie KRUSE
28.  Ramazan OZCAN
29.  Kai HAVERTZ
30.  Sam SCHRECK
31.  Kevin VOLLAND
33.  Lukas BOEDER
35.  Vladlen YURCHENKO
36.  Niklas LOMB
38.  Karim BELLARABI
39.  Benjamin HENRICHS
44.  Kevin KAMPL
PREVIEW Tottenham travel to the BayArena to meet Group E leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen and the club (although none of the current players) have faced the German side there previously in the 2006 UEFA Cup, when Dimitar Berbatov scored against his old club.  How Tottenham hope that former Bayer player Heung-Min Son will be on the score-sheet for this meeting.

The task may be a little harder, with Toby Alderweireld picking up a knee knock on Saturday, but Eric Dier will deputise and is comfortable at centre-half.  The team will be almost at full strength for the meeting, with players not being rested, as Mauricio Pochettino fights on four fronts this season.

Bayer have had a little blip in form, losing to Werder Bremen at the weekend, having seen off Borussia Dortmund and Mainz, with a draw with AS Monaco in between.  Spurs have been unbeaten over their last five matches, with only the defeat by Monaco the sole blot on their record so far.  With familiar names in Javier (Chicarito) Hernandez playing up front after his move to Germany from Manchester United and other squad members who were linked with Spurs in the past, such as winger Kevin Kampl, midfielder Lars Bender, Croatian defender Tin Jedvaj and goalkeeper Bernd Leno.  With defender Omer Toprak and midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who was not so complementary about Son's departure from Leverkusen, there is an influence on the side from Turkey, but there are three Austrians, a Brazilian and a Chilean in the squad too.  Interestingly, they also have a secret weapon to bring on in midfield to make it hard to get around in Sam Schreck !!

Tottenham have been looking good going forward, but the lack of a killer instinct in the last third has been costing us points at home and in Europe, so a better final ball and better finishing should see Tottenham through this one.  With Bournemouth having scored six at the weekend, the trip to Dean Court now looks a little more tricky, but they were only playing Hull City, so it could be that it might not be in the back of the players' minds.

As the team run out, the Champions League theme will get the pulses racing and a quick start could catch the German side cold. Spurs certainly did well in the Russian climate in beating CSKA, so another like-minded performance will be most welcome.

PREDICTION Bayer 04 Leverkusen    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
Lars Bender has been suffering with a bug and is a doubt for the game with Spurs. 
Harry Kane (ankle) and Toby Alderweireld (knee) miss the trip to Germany to face Bayer 04 Leverkusen.  Kyle Walker has been rested for the match.

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Bayer 04 Leverkusen  0 (0)  

Champions League  -  Group E
Wednesday 18th October 2016
Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)

Kick off 19:45
None None
Calhanoglu (foul on Wanyama)  21
Bender (foul on Son)  41


Lamela  (foul on Hernandez)  25

Crowd :   28,887 Weather :  Wet
Referee : Cüneyt Çakır (TUR) Assistant Referees :  Bahattin Duran; Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official :  Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR) Additional Assistant Referees :  Hüseyin Göçek; Barış Şimşek (TUR)
UEFA Match Delegate :  UEFA Referee Observer :  Haim Jakov (ISR)
Spurs kicked off in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.


Bayer 04 Leverkusen : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Bernd LENO

  8  Lars BENDER  (c)       (16  Tin JEDVAJ  74)
  4  Jonathan TAH
21  Omer TOPRAK
39  Benjamin HENRICHS

14  Admir MEHMEDI
20  Charles ARANGUIZ
10  Hasan CALHANOGLU       (15  Julian BAUMGARTLINGER  46)
44  Kevin KAMPL

11  Stefan KIESLING
  7  Javier HERNANDEZ  (19  Julian BRANDT  85)

Unused subs: 
28  Ramazan OZCAN
  6  Alecksander DRAGOVIC
31  Kevin VOLLAND


    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
  Eric DIER

  3  Danny ROSE

12  Victor WANYAMA
20  DELE Alli

11  Erik LAMELA       (17  Moussa SISSOKO  71)
23  Christian ERIKSEN
  Heung-Min SON  (25  Josh ONOMAH  90)

  9  Vincent JANSSEN (19  Mousa DEMBELE  65)

Unused subs: 
Michel VORM
33  Ben DAVIES
29  Harry WINKS


Manager :  Roger Schmidt Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Barmenia Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Jako Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

A game of two halves with Tottenham taking the first and Leverkusen getting the better of the second failed to produce a goal and left both clubs deflated after the match.  With both sides pressing high up the pitch, it was a disjointed game, but they produced some good attacking moves, with Tottenham indebted to Hugo Lloris for their point after the Frenchman pulled off a fine stop, when Hernandez should have scored.  Tottenham went close with Janssen hitting the bar and Leno saving from Lamela, but failed to make the best of the possession - not for the first time this season.

Dier stood in at centre-half for Alderweireld, Son took over from Sissoko in midfield and Rose returned to replace Davies at left back.  Getting the game underway, Tottenham started well, with some good breaking up of play, but both sides were giving up possession cheaply. Spurs did have the ball in the net when Eriksen picked up a poor clearance from Leno and played it to Lamela, who dinked a little pass through to Son, breaking into the box. He took the keeper out of the play when he squared the ball for Janssen to slide the ball into an empty net, but the offside flag had been raised against Son.

Wanyama inadvertantly stuck his fingers in Jan Vertonghen's eye when they both went in for a challenge, with both teams closing down quickly and some aimless passes were ensuring there was little flow to the game. Niggly fouls didn't help … as much as Owen Hargreaves' banal commentary on BT Sport. Calhanoglu picked up a yellow card for a late foul on Wanyama before a good spell of possession saw Son play the ball to Dele, who back-heeled it into his path and the South Korean went on to shimmy to the 18 yard line and unload a shot that was blocked. Lamela was then booked and then jumped with an elbow up to flatten Aranguiz.

Victor Wanyama did well to hold off three Bayer players and play Trippier in down the right wing. Kieran's cross picked out Alli running into the box, but his header from 10 yards out went wide, because he couldn't get his neck around the effort. Bayer then enjoyed having the ball for a spell, winning a free-kick for a foul on Calhanoglu, who picked out Kiesling, but his header went over. Spurs fans were heard loud and clear before the orchestrated German chanting was forced to respond.

On the pitch, Tottenham were playing it a bit tight when passing the ball out from the back, with one pass from Lloris to Rose picked off and Lamela almost putting Lloris in trouble. A good move by Leverkusen switched play to the left and Calhanoglu was in space, but his poor touch allowed an interception to be made.

Spurs moved the ball well to the left and Son played it in to Janssen in the centre of the box. He passed the ball back out to Dele, whose shot was blocked by Toprak, but when it went out right to Trippier, his cross was met by Vincent Janssen's head and the ball bounced out off the crossbar. Lamela was first onto it and struck a volley goal-wards, only to see the keeper get a hand to it and put it over. This rattled Bayer and they started flying into tackles, with Bender getting a yellow for a late tackle on Rose. From the free-kick, Eriksen picked out Son's run, but a Bayer player got it out for a corner. Leverkusen almost tested Hugo when a good passage of passing opened up a shot from Kampl 20 yards out, but it went wide. Janssen then chased down Tah and put the ball across the six-yard box with no Spurs player reading the cross. Chicarito went close, but the low shot went a foot wide with Lloris having it covered, but Spurs were becoming more assured with their passing and Wanyama was dominating midfield as it got to half-time.

Calhanoglu went off during the break and Baumgartlinger came on to add some stiffness to midfield, while Spurs came out with the same eleven. It was the home team who went within millimetres of scoring, as Bender went down the right wing and his low ball across the face of goal was shot by Chicarito, but Lloris somehow managed to smother the ball and grabbed it with the Mexican claiming the goal. The goal-line technology showed that the whole ball had not crossed the line, by a very small margin.

The referee was making some strange decisions, with play allowed to continue when obvious fouls had been made (Janssen's shirt must be XXXXXXXL by now), then stopping play for trivial instances (mainly Hernandez falling over as he did with frightening regularity). He even managed to intercept a Spurs pass into the Leverkusen area in the first half. One for Hernandez falling over as he couldn't do anything when in possession, allowed Aranguiz to shoot from 30 yards and his low shot skidded off the wet turf and Hugo had to push it wide with a good save to his right. As play continued after the corner, Kiesling's shot across the goal was kicked out by Rose, to Bender, whose shot looked to be going in, but Danny jumped up to get his head on the ball and take it over the bar. Lloris then had to repeat his low save, when Mehmedi struck a 20 yard drive just after the hour and from the corner, the ball bounced up with claims of a handball against Danny Rose.

Mousa Dembele came off the bench for Vincent Janssen to try and get the ball under control in midfield, so, with his first touch, he sent Eriksen away through the middle from halfway, but was stopped by a desperate tackle. A last ditch tackle at the other end saw Vertonghen put Kiesling off and Lloris turned the ball around at his near post. The corner brought Hugo into action again, but Toprak's header was straight at the Spurs captain. When Kiesling ran into Wanyama to win another free-kick, Aranguiz fired it into the wall, with Lamela being denied on the break and it was his last part played in the match, as Moussa Sissoko came on to replaced the winger.

Leverkusen must have had a roasting at half-time, as they had stepped up the pace of the game and their movement off the ball, so when a corner dropped for Toprak, his shot flew wide to Tottenham's relief. Spurs broke up play and looked to break, but the quality of their passing was poor and promising moves fizzled out. Too often, when finding space wide, Tottenham came inside, while their best opportunities came from balls into the box from wide positions. Alli spread the ball from left to right to find Eriksen, who went past Heinrichs as though he wasn't there to reach the box, but then fired a shot in at Leno rather than trying to pick someone out.

Following a priod of play where Spurs had the ball in the home half, Leverkusen missed a key chance when Kampl curled a ball into the near post from the left wing and Kiesling met it, but stumbled the ball past the post. When Spurs got the ball from the goal-kick, they broke away and Alli won a corner, with Eriksen taking it and the opposition broke away, with Brandt almost finding Kiesling, but for Vertonghen's tackle.

By the end, both sides were like two prize-fighters slugged out by their efforts. In added time, Bayer threw some crosses into the box, but Vertonghen and Dier stood firm. Another lobbed ball into the air was mis-judged by Trippier, but Brandt's shot was partially blocked and the save was routine for Lloris.

The match finished with Lloris in possession and his stop from Hernandez proved the vital moment in the game. Spurs would have been pleased with the point after the second half performance, staying in second place behind AS Monaco and with two home games to come.

Pete Stachio




Bayer 04 Leverkusen were so named as their fans were so keen about the team that they were "bayer" for the team like wolves (the animals not the team).


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What you thought
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Other scores during this round of games :
Arsenal 6 Ludogrets Razgad (BUL) 0 Wednesday
Paris St. Germain (FRA) 3 Basel (SWI) 0 Wednesday
Dynamo KIEV (UKR) 0 Benfica (POR) 2 Wednesday
Napoli (ITA) 2 Besiktas (TUR) 3 Wednesday
Glasgow Celtic 0 Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) 2 Wednesday
Barcelona (SPA) 4 Manchester City 0 Wednesday
Bayern Munich (GER) 4 PSV Eindhoven (HOL) 1 Wednesday
Rostov (RUS) 0 Atletico Madrid (SPA) 1 Wednesday
CSKA Moscow (RUS) 1 AS Monaco (FRA) 1 Tuesday
Sporting Lisbon (POR) 1 Borussia Dortmund (GER) 2 Tuesday
Real Madrid (SPA) 5 Legia Warsaw (POL) 1 Tuesday
Club Brugge (BEL) 1 FC Porto (POR) 2 Tuesday
Leicester City 1 FC Copenhagen (DEN) 0 Tuesday
Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) 0 Juventus (ITA) 1 Tuesday
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Sevilla (SPA) 1 Tuesday



Group E Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 AS Monaco 3 1 2 0 4 3 5 +1
2 Tottenham Hotspur 3 1 1 1 2 2 4 0
3 Bayer Leverkusen 3 0 3 0 3 3 3 0
4 CSKA Moscow 3 0 2 1 3 4 2 -1


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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