Thursday, January 18, 2018

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham

Verdict: Tottenham win

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

The Champions League is back this week with the competition reaching boiling point with just two games left to play. Borussia Dortmund must win their match on Tuesday and they host in-form Tottenham, with both sides angling for a win for very different reasons.

Borussia Dortmund

For Borussia Dortmund, this has been a European campaign to forget. After four games they are yet to win, while they have drawn twice and lost twice. Of course, they were drawn into one of, if not the most difficult group in the competition, but they will have envisaged a far better showing this season. Indeed, they have been awful in their last two games in particular, drawing home and away against Apoel Nicosia. While no game in the Champions League is easy, they would have seen their matches with the minnows as bankers in the group, but they have come unstuck twice. In the Bundesliga, they have found things similarly difficult. They were cruising at the top of the table as rivals Bayern Munich floundered, but they have failed to win any of their last five games, falling from first to fifth. While the season is far from over, Dortmund will know that the nine-point gap between themselves and Bayern cannot be allowed to increase. Back to Europe, and it is win or bust for the Germans. With only two points from their four games, they are five short of Real Madrid in second, and eight shy of Tottenham. A win over Spurs would see them rise to five points, but the most improbable part of their plan to qualify is that Apoel Nicosia have to beat Real Madrid. While the Spanish side arent in the best of form lately, they will fancy themselves against the group’s bottom side. Ultimately, it looks like Dortmund might have to settle for a place in the Europa League, although heavy defeats at the hands of Tottenham and Madrid could see them miss out on even that.

Team News

Borussia Dortmund’s slid could be down to the glut of injuries they have had to contend with this season. Marco Reus (ruptured cruciate ligament), Sebastian Rode, Erik Durm (hip), Lukasz Piszczek (knee) and Alexander Isak (knee) will not feature, while Sokratis faces a race to fitness following a fractured rib.

Tottenham

For Tottenham, it has been a near perfect European campaign. After four games they are sitting pretty at the top of the group with 10 points, and they have already qualified for the next round of the Champions League. Following a tough European campaign last time around in which they were eliminated at the group-stage, they have risen from the ashes and they look like a very tough proposition. Wins over Dortmund, Apoel Nicosia and Real Madrid have only solidified their credentials, with their 3-1 win over Real a particular highlight for the English side. In the league, things have not been perfect of late. They have fallen to fourth following defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal, meaning they are now 11 points shy of Manchester City at the top. However, their recent loss was with Harry Kane clearly still nursing an injury, as they played most of the game with a talisman that could not play at 100%. Against Dortmund, they will feel they have a point to prove then. The Germans gave them a good game in the return of the fixture, with Tottenham coming out on top. However, qualification at the top of the group would be all but secured with a win, as they face group minnows Apoel in their final game. While they will want to go through top, Spurs will also want to send out a message to the rest of Europe, and they can do that by going to Germany and winning.

Team News

Despite doing so well in Europe, Tottenham are missing a number of key players still. Erik Lamela (hip) has been absent since October 2016, while Victor Wanyama (knee) Toby Alderweireld (thigh) and Michel Vorm (minor wound) are all out. Harry Kane and Dele Alli were substituted early against Arsenal at the weekend as Mauricio Pochettino probably had an eye on this Tuesday’s game.

Key Factors

Borussia Dortmund have not won any of their last five games in the league, while they have not won in four games in the Champions League (P9 L6 D3).

Tottenham are yet to lose in this seasons Champions League.

If Harry Kane is injured, Son Heung-Min can step in as he has scored seven goals in nine competitive games against Dortmund.

A win for Tottenham will see them tighten their hold at the top, meaning they only need a point from their last game.

A win may not be enough to keep Dortmund alive in the Champions League.

Conclusion

This could be one of the games of the match-week as two heavyweights of European football come together. Borussia Dortmund have been in awful form lately, while they have really struggled in Europe and they actually look like they may miss out on Europa League football if they are not careful. For Tottenham, a win on Tuesday would be yet another superb victory, and it would solidify their status as one of the teams to beat in Europe.

Verdict: Tottenham win

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benjamin Darvill


Ben is an English and creative writing graduate that is now working his way up in the world of sports journalism. Having been writing for the last four years, Ben has written for a number of websites specialising in sport, with football a particular passion. He is a long-suffering England fan and eternal optimist when it comes to the Three Lions.

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