Friday, August 23, 2019

Prediction: Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham

Verdict: Tottenham to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Tottenham head to Germany on Tuesday night for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund looking to protect a commanding 3-0 lead secured in London last month.

Borussia Dortmund

Starting with the hosts, while Borrusia Dortmund might have enjoyed a stellar start to the season and had their sights set on recapturing the Bundesliga title for the first time in seven years, Lucien Favre’s side are drastically short on both form and confidence. Shipping 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. Heavily criticized for their shock 2-1 loss away at leading relegation contenders Augsburg on Friday night, BVB now find only their goal difference keeping them above Bayern, despite previously holding a nine-point buffer. Enduring a run of form that has seen them remarkably pick up just one win in their last seven matches across all competitions, fans around Signal-Iduna-Park will also be more than aware of Dortmund’s very worrying in the knockout stage of Europe’s elite tournament. The Yellow and Black’s have 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 Favre 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.

Team News

Dortmund captain Marco Reus missed the first-leg loss with a thigh problem, though 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.

Tottenham

As for the visitors, Spurs find themselves in almost an identical position to BVB. Despite 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 Whites have 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 matchup’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.

Team News

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.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Tottenham have won their three previous encounters with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, twice in last season’s group stages and in the first leg.
  • Borussia Dortmund conceded more goals in the first leg against Tottenham than they did in the entire group stages (two).
  • Borussia Dortmund have lost 10 of their last 13 Champions League knockout games (W3), after losing only one of their previous 14 (W9 D4).
  • Tottenham have scored in each of their last 17 Champions League games, their longest run in the competition. They’ve also only ever lost one game in the Champions League (out of 31 played) by more than two clear goals, against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in April 2011 (4-0).
  • Tottenham’s Son Heung-min 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.

Conclusion

While Tottenham are enduring a sluggish run and in desperate need of a response, Mauricio Pochettino should see Tuesday as the perfect opportunity to bounce back. With Dortmund shipping three against Spurs in the first leg and now conceding eight goals in their last three matches at Signal-Iduna-Park, we’re backing Harry Kane and co to enjoy a fruitful evening in the final third.

Verdict: Tottenham to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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