Tottenham Hotspur will welcome Bayer Leverkusen to their European “home” at Wembley on Wednesday for the second leg of the two club’s Champions League group stage tie.
Things finished scoreless two weeks ago when they met at the BayArena, giving Spurs a slight edge ahead of Wednesday’s match. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side has been on a dreary run of form lately, going winless in their last five games across all competitions.
The good news for Spurs fans is that striker Harry Kane looks set to return to first-team action, which could give the North Londoners a significant lift in the goal-scoring department. The striker has been out since September and his teammates have struggled to find the back of the net in his absence, having only scored twice in their previous three European matches this season.
Center-back Toby Alderweireld is still sidelined by a knee injury, while Erik Lamela is out with an illness.
Spurs were held to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane on the weekend by defending Premier League champions Leicester City. Even in that match, it took a penalty kick for Vincent Janssen to get on the scoresheet and the lack of goals from open play is a growing cause for concern for Pochettino.
Meanwhile, Leverkusen snapped their four-game winless streak, coming from behind to beat Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday. The win eased the pressure on manager Roger Schmidt whose job security was increasingly being called into question.
Currently sitting in third place in Group E, behind leaders Monaco and Tottenham, the impetus will be on Leverkusen to get some kind of result Wednesday. The German outfit has thus far managed to go undefeated in Europe this season, but having drawn their three previous games, they’re still looking for their first win.
However, a draw would likely suit them as it would keep the pressure on the teams above them and put them in a good position to progress, provided they can improve results in their upcoming fixtures against Moscow and Monaco.
A loss at Wembley on the other hand, could put their European future in serious doubt.
Schmidt will he hoping to get more production out of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez on Wednesday. The Mexican striker knows the Premier League from his time at Manchester United. Hernandez has five goals in the Bundesliga this season but has only scored once in the Champions League, and that was against Monaco back in late September. He hasn’t found the back of the net in the Bundesliga meanwhile, since October 1 against Dortmund.
If Leverkusen want to shore up their position in the group, Wednesday would be an opportune time for Chicharito to rediscover his scoring touch.
Watch Tottenham Hotspur take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League this Wednesday, November 2 at 3:45 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1.