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Match Preview: Borussia Dortmund Attempt Comeback Against Tottenham Hotspur (Updated)

Dortmund will need a miracle (and a Spurs bottle-Job) to go through to the Quarterfinals.

Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

On February 13th, Borussia Dortmund came away from Wembley Stadium with a hiding. Goals from Heung-Min Son, Fernando Llorente, and Jan Vertonghen gave Tottenham Hotspur a 3-0 lead on aggregate heading into tomorrow’s reverse fixture at the Westfalenstadion. As a Spurs fan myself, I’m allowed to say that Tottenham have a somewhat deserved reputation for pulling off spectacular bottle-jobs (called ‘Spursings’ in North London speak). Borussia Dortmund will need one tomorrow if they are to go through.

Both Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur have struggled recently. Spurs are winless in their last three matches, having lost to Burnley and Chelsea, and escaped with a point against Arsenal during this weekend’s North London Derby. Borussia Dortmund are also in a cold stretch, having dropped points in four of their last five matches in the Bundesliga.

Both teams should be relatively healthy. According to Cartilage Free Captain, Dele Alli will be Tottenham’s only injury for tomorrow’s match.* This means that Harry Kane, who missed the reverse fixture at Wembley, will be fit to play at the Westfalenstadion. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, only seem to be missing Lukasz Piszczek, whose absence has been very damaging to the club’s recent performances.

*Update: CFC is now reporting that right back Kieren Trippier will also not make the trip to Germany.

Keys to the Game

  • Get out in front early. A three-goal deficit will be immensely difficult to overcome in 90 minutes, so Dortmund can’t afford to waste any time. An early goal could throw Tottenham off-balance and put them on the back foot, and would certainly allow doubt to creep into their minds.
  • Prevent an away goal at all costs. BVB failed to score at Wembley, so a Tottenham goal would effectively put the tie out of reach for good.

Score Prediction

I just don’t see this struggling Dortmund side winning by at least four goals against Tottenham. It would be a collapse for the ages, and Spurs have actually been pretty resilient in the Champions League this year.

I predict a 2-2 draw, with goals from Reus and Paco Alcacer, and Son and Harry Winks, because why not.