Tottenham’s Round of 16 opponents not to be taken lightly

There’s no doubt that Tottenham, who will face RB Leipzig, received a favourable draw in the first knockout stage of the Champions League, but the German side is not to be taken lightly.

Of course there is no easy matchup at this stage of Europe’s most competitive, highest profile competition. But RB Leipzig, in comparison to the other sides Spurs could have faced, is the best outcome for the north London club.  

Tottenham, however, must be very careful going into this tie, as many people, involuntarily and naturally, will already be looking past the German side. Do that at your own peril, though. RB Leipzig currently resembles Leicester in the Premier League, firing on all cylinders and scoring for fun.

Sitting two points clear atop the Bundesliga, they’re hotter than a car bonnet in the Australian outback in January. That’s right, they are first, ahead of Gladbach and Dortmund, who round out the top three. Leipzig are also six points ahead of Bayern Munich, such is the extraordinary level of their play.

Losing only two of their first 15 Bundesliga matches, Leipzig is the league’s best side away from home. They’ve lost just a single match on their travels domestically, and are six points better off in hostile environs than any other Bundesliga side.

They have the second best defensive record (conceding 16 goals) and the most prolific attack, scoring 42 times, a return of almost three goals a game. That’s five more goals scored than second place Dortmund.

Leipzig had a comparatively easy Champions League group, topping second place Lyon by three points. Benfica and Zenit rounded out Group G. Even though Leipzig had an easier group, they took care of business, losing just one of six group games.

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Tottenham cannot afford to look past the German league leaders or they’ll find themselves on the wrong end of this aggregate. However, if Spurs stick to their game plan and play the way we all know they can, expect to see the Lilywhites in the quarterfinals for the second year running.