Borussia Dortmund will host Tottenham in Group H of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday in a must-win match for the Bundesliga outfit.
Borussia Dortmund’s season is beginning to fold early despite a great start under new manager Peter Bosz. The Yellow Brigade are already 9 points behind leaders Bayern Munich in Bundesliga. But, their condition in Group H of the Champions League is even more troubling.
Dortmund are currently in third place with just 2 points from their first four games and even wins from their remaining matches would not see them confirm their qualification to the knockouts. The club though, can bow out of the race if they fail to register a win on Tuesday.
Tottenham’s case is a bit different. While they have suffered a few hiccups in the Premier League, their Champions League campaign has been smooth sailing so far. A win on Tuesday could give them a great chance to finish the group stage on top of Group H, a prospect that many may not have thought of when the groups were drawn.
Ahead of the must-win match for the hosts, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Not many know whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be selected by Peter Bosz after the forward was left out in the team’s 2-1 defeat to VfB Stuttgart citing disciplinary reasons. Bosz though, has many options to keep things interesting.
While he could deploy Andre Schurrle or Maximilian Philipp upfront, he could also go with the exuberance of young Alexandre Isak or the tactical ploy of Mario Gotze in a False Nine role.
There are already many pressing concerns for Bosz to deal with. The latest to join the horde – Erik Durm, Sebastian Rode, Marco Reus and Lukasz Piszczek – are Sokratis and Christian Pulisic, who are both doubtful for the game.
While Julian Weigl and Jeremy Toljan are one booking each away from suspension, Bosz is likely to risk them in order to secure a win on Tuesday, barring which the subsequent fixture would become meaningless in terms of qualification into the knockout phase.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Burki; Toljan, Bartra, Toprak, Guerreiro; Dahoud, Weigl, Kagawa; Yarmolenko, Gotze, Philipp
Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld remain the only two players on the treatment table. But, there were questions asked of Pochettino’s decision to keep Rose out of the playing eleven against Arsenal on Saturday and we could see the player being reinstated against Dortmund.
Harry Winks, too, could come into the eleven in place of Moussa Sissoko, with Pochettino’s gamble not paying off. The young midfielder has looked dominant in his outings thus far and should see himself being auto-picked ahead of others.
Pochettino is likely to demand a response from his squad after what was a tepid display at Emirates and we could see Tottenham go full-throttle against Dortmund.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Vorm; Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen; Davies, Winks, Dembele, Rose; Alli, Eriksen; Kane
1. Free Will – Dortmund and Tottenham have met each other four times, with at least 3 goals in each of their encounters.
2. King Kane – Harry Kane has scored five goals in four games so far in the present season of UCL.
3. Dortmund must win the match in order to remain in contention to qualify for the knockout phase of the UCL. Anything other than a win would see Real Madrid be granted qualification.
Player to Watch
If Dortmund are to win, Peter Bosz knows he has to field his best-available eleven and that means we are likely to see Aubameyang start. And, if the hosts do manage to win on Tuesday, it is likely to be on the back of a great attacking performance, with him at the heart of it.
Borussia Dortmund 2-4 Tottenham
It should rain goals on Tuesday at Westfalenstadion, with both teams intent on coming back from their respective defeats over the weekend. Dortmund will have more incentive to go forward but Tottenham should be able to hit the hosts on the counter and we should see Spurs chalk out a win. Do not be surprised if this ends in a high-scoring draw either.