5th March, 2019
Tottenham Hotspurs face Borussia Dortmund tonight away in Germany in a return leg tie of the Champions League tie in what promises to be a cracker of a match. Spurs won the first leg at Wembley with a commanding score-line of three goals to nil to go into this match as favourites to progress but will surely have to work their socks off in tonight’s match in order to carry the day.
Borrusia Dortmund enjoyed a very good start to the season and had their sights set on recapturing the Bundesliga title for the first time in seven years but Lucien Favre’s side are suddenly drastically short on both form and confidence.
After conceeding three against Spurs at Wembley in the first leg and needing a miracle on Tuesday night, BVB once again failed to impress over the weekend. Seriously criticized for their shock 2-1 loss away at leading relegation contenders Augsburg on Friday night, Dortmund now find only their goal difference keeping them above Bayern, despite previously holding a nine-point buffer.
Having endured a run of form that has seen them remarkably pick up just one win in their last seven matches across all competitions, the home fans will also be more than aware of Dortmund’s very worrying run in the knockout stage of Europe’s elite tournament.
Borussia Dortmund has lost 10 of their last 13 Champions League knockout games and have also managed to record just two European home victories in their last seven attempts, a run that stems back to March 2017.
If Dortmund are to pull off one of the most famous turnarounds in European history, then they should be looking for Raphael Guerreiro to carry on his recent return. The 25-year-old has scored four of Borussia Dortmund’s last five goals in the Champions League.
On a positive note for the team, its captain Marco Reus who missed the first-leg loss with a thigh problem, will be fit for the return fixture after making his comeback.
Future Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic did not play in that Bundesliga defeat after suffering his own thigh injury at Wembley, but is back in first-team training and should also be available.
As for Tottenham, they find themselves in almost an identical position to BVB. After having being labeled as potential title dark horses entering the second half of the season, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are enduring arguably their most difficult spell of the campaign.
Heavily outplayed by Arsenal in Saturday’s North London derby, Spurs will know they were lucky to leave Wembley with a point intact. However, flattering to deceive since the middle of February, Tottenham have failed to win any of their last three outings and have particularly struggled on their travels.
The London team has lost their last four matches away from the capital, their worst run of away form in over a decade. More worrying for the visitors, they have conceded two goals in each of their four defeats away from Wembley and have not recorded a clean sheet on the road since the start of January.
While Harry Kane once again found the net from 12 yards over the weekend, Pochettino could be looking for South Korean winger Son Heung-min to test Dortmund’s increasingly leaky defence. The 26-year-old found the net in the first leg and has a history of enjoying his match-up’s against the German heavyweights. The former Bayer Leverkusen man has scored nine goals in 11 games in all competitions against Borussia Dortmund, more than he has against any other side in his senior club career.
Tottenham will make a late decision on the fitness of midfield duo Eric Dier and Harry Winks, ahead of their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Winks missed Saturday’s north London derby draw with Arsenal because of a hip injury, while Dier has been out since the start of February because of illness.