Tottenham Hotspur trail by three goals when they welcome German giants Borussia Dortmund for the second leg meeting in this year Europa League round of sixteen tie at the White Hard on Thursday.
A first half goal from flamboyant striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang along with the second half double from Marco Reus handed Dortmund a much deserved 3-0 win at Signal Iduna Park two weeks ago and they are in a very comfortable position to advance to the quarter finals.
Mauricio Pochettino’s boys maybe still favourites to win the English Premier League this season, but their performances in cup competitions has been below par.
Last five games (All Competitions)
Since the first leg clash with Dortmund two weeks ago, Spurs had only one match, against relegation candidates Aston Villa, which they won by 2-0. And this was their only win in last 4 competitive matches.
Tottenham are in terrific form in Premier League lately, but they had a disappointing run in all cup competitions this season. They were eliminated in the FA cup in front of their home crowd by a poor Crystal Palace side who went on to win the tie 1-0. While in Capital One Cup, Spurs were knocked out by arch rivals Arsenal in their first ever match and that too come at White Hart Lane.
Spurs have a 100% home win record in this season’s Europa League competition and they have scored 3 or more goals in three of the four matches.
Dortmund are unbeaten in their last 13 matches in all competitions, and kept a clean sheet in their last four. They are also unbeaten in their last six away matches, five of them being wins.
Tottenham: Team News
Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie are injured for Spurs, while Dele Alli returns after serving his suspension.
Pochettino is very likely to rotate his squad similar to what he has done in cup competitions all season and the likes of Harry Kane, Eriksen and Dembele could sit out.
Predicted Line-up: (4-2-3-1): Trippier, Wimmer, Alderwield, Davies – Mason, Dier – Son, Onomah, Alli – Chadli.
Dortmund: Team News
Erik Durm, Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender are doubts and Dortmund head-coach Thomas Tuchel is unlikely to risk the trio.
The Germans coach will rotate his squad here with key Bundesliga clashes on sight. Both Reus and Aubameyang are likely to start off from the bench as they look to sit back and protect a heavy 3-0 lead.
Predicted Line-up (4-3-3): Weidenfeller – Hummels, Sokratis, Piszczek, Schmelzer – Kagawa, Sahin, Weigl – Reus, Ramos, Castro.
Tottenham vs Dortmund: Head-to-Head Stats
The first leg clash between Dotmund and Tottenham was their first ever meeting in a UEFA competition.
They met in a friendly in 2008, when Spurs thrashed the Germans by 3-0.
Tottenham are unbeaten at home against German sides at home in European Competitions and won six out of those. While Dortmund’s away record against English oppositions in competitive matches is 3 wins, 1 draw and 5 defeats.
Tottenham vs Dortmund: Prediction
The Spurs are on the back foot and just a win won’t help them here. They need to win this tie by the 3-0 score to take it to the extra time or win with a 4 goal margin to go through. While Dortmund just need to avoid a loss by 3 or more goals, and with every goal they score the target widens for the Spurs.
It is very likely that both sides start a lot of rotation in their attacking front, while defense remains more or less the same. Goals will be hard to come by and the result will be very unpredictable if it’s the case. For those who bet on this match, keep an eye on the final starting line-up for both teams.
If Spurs go with a full strength squad, they might well win this one, but may still fall short of qualification to quarter finals.