Spurs v Bayer Leverkusen - Christian Ziege's view
02 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Ziege knows the Bundesliga and Spurs inside-out - and he’s tipping us to edge out Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League tonight.
A former German international who won Euro 96 and played in the 2002 World Cup Final, Christian won titles at Bayern Munich and AC Milan before joining us in 2001 via spells at Middlesbrough and Liverpool. He played 55 times for us between 2001-2004 and scored in the 2002 League Cup Final.
He ended his career at Borussia Monchengladbach and was Under-17 coach, sporting director and assistant coach for the club before taking coaching roles at Armenia Bielefeld, the German Under-18 and 19 teams, SpVgg Unterhaching and now, Atletico Baleares in Segunda Division B in Spain.
Below: Christian in action for Spurs
‘I’m all Spurs’
Christian: “For me, I have to say, even though I’m German, I’m all Spurs. I played for Spurs for three years and I like the style the team is playing over the last two years under Mauricio Pochettino. It’s an important game because if you win against Leverkusen, you are four points clear of them with two games left. At the same time, if Monaco win against CSKA, a win is more or less your ticket to go into the next round.”
Christian: “Leverkusen have some difficulties. They are under pressure as they are not performing the way they should because they have some fantastic players. Going forward, they have great quality but they suffer a lot in defence because of a lack of experience.
Below: Leverkusen dangerman Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
“They have talented players but at the moment they are going through a difficult time. They went out of the DFB Cup to a lower team in Sportfreunde Lotte. The only thing is at the weekend, they were 1-0 down at Wolfsburg but managed to turn it around, although it has to be said that Wolfsburg currently have six points from nine games, so they are not the best. So, for me, it’s a good time for Tottenham to play Leverkusen.”
Below: Christian at SpVgg Unterhaching in 2014
Defence is key
Christian: “The way Spurs are playing is fantastic, okay, perhaps you are missing Harry Kane a little. I think if Spurs put on the high press as they always do in the Premier League then Leverkusen could have big problems. Both teams can score and in the end, it could be down to who defends better. When I look at the teams, the defence of Tottenham is stronger than the defence of Leverkusen so then it’s about if and how often you can punish the Leverkusen defence.”