Borussia Dortmund play their last card against Tottenham

It’s Borussia Dortmund’s last chance to salvage something from their season in European competitions. Tottenham have already qualified for the next stage but are looking to win their group.  

In recent years both sides have built a reputation for performing above expectation, with eye catching displays.

However, the current season finds Tottenham in a stronger position, winning the home leg of the tie comfortably. The same cannot be said about the German giants.

In contrast, in their previous meeting in the Europa League in 2016, Borussia knocked Tottenham out, with a 3-0 trouncing in the home tie in Dortmund. A lead Tottenham were unable to balance in the return leg at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham enter the tie with an emphatic win over Group H favourites Real Madrid, drawing 1-1 at the Bernabeu, with a 3-1 scoreline in the return fixture at Wembley.

Pochettino’s injury woes

Injuries though will play a factor. Tottenham are currently without key defender Toby Aldeweireld, holding midfielder Victor Wanyama, and long term absentee Erik Lamela. Left back Danny Danny Rose is not yet fully fit.

Rose was expected play in the Arsenal game, but failed to make the bench. He also could have been rested, it’s not known whether he or Ben Davies will start the Dortmund game.

Whilst Harry Kane played at the weekend, it was clear he was not a hundred percent fit. Dele Alli has shown little of his excellence of late, and with Christian Eriksen having a rare off day, Pochettino may alter the midfield.

With Mousa Dembele still nursing his foot, Pochettino will likely field Harry Winks, and Moussa Sissoko. Fernando Llorente could be relieving Harry Kane for all or some of the tie, with Heung-Min Son joining Dele Alli going forward.

With qualification settled, the Spurs boss may not field some of the usual first eleven.

A return for Aubangayang

Dortmund’s manager Peter Bosz’s reign started well. Things have changed though, quickly and dramatically. Currently fifth place in the Bundesliga, they now face the prospect of early elimination from European competition. Borussia Dortmund will settle for third spot in the group, and Europa League entry.

The German side will be relieved striker Piere-Emerick Aubameyang makes a return after missing their last match, a Bundesliga defeat to Stuttgart. Aubangayang had received a ban for being late for training.

Dortmund need their Gabon star to find his best form for European advancement. He scored fifteen goals from his first twelve appearances, but has seen five appearances without a goal.

Dortmund have also been very poor in defence, conceding 8 goals from their four Champion’s League games, scoring only four times.

Spurs’ Captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, however, is top form this season conceding just 3 times in the Champions League. His recent injury and Tottenham’s guaranteed qualification though, could see him rest.

With second ‘keeper Michael Vorm also injured, new boy Paulo Gazzaniga could find himself in the German goal. Gazzaniga had a blistering debut in their recent Premiership clash with Crystal Palace, and Pochettino may trust him again.

A win sees Tottenham top group H, with one remaining Wembley tie against Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia. Dortmund must win, and hope that Apoel beat Real Madrid.

This could also depend on whether Tottenham field their best available players. Either way, Pochettino will be playing to win the match. It promises to be an entertaining 90 mins.

The Champions League group H tie, Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur tie kicks off at 19.45 at the Wedtfalenstadion, Germany.

 

 

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