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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 clash between Spurs and Borussia Dortmund.

Tottenham Hotspur play host to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie having only reached this stage of the competition with a dramatic 1-1 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Dortmund have enjoyed an excellent campaign, but the German giants make the trip to Wembley Stadium having failed to win any of their last three matches.


Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on December 29, 2018© Reuters

Spurs would have acknowledged that they faced an uphill task to reach the knockout stages of this competition having recorded just one point from their first three group games, but the desire shown in the remaining matches suggests that they can be contenders to lift the trophy in just under four months' time.

There was nothing pretty about the way that chances were squandered against PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan before vital points were eventually secured, but their draw against Barcelona showed the rest of Europe that they should not be written off.

Barcelona had already qualified as group winners ahead of that encounter, but it takes a strong team not to be overawed by the cauldron of noise created at Camp Nou and Mauricio Pochettino's side were fully deserving of their share of the spoils.

Pochettino will be wary of the threat offered by Dortmund over the next 180 minutes of football, although there will be an appreciation that the draw has been relatively kind to the North London outfit given some of the other teams which they could have faced.

Harry Kane will be missing for the first leg of this tie, but Son Heung-min has shown that he is an able deputy to the club's top goalscorer and Fernando Llorente continues to chip in with contributions despite his lack of suitability to Pochettino's favoured system.

However, the return to form of Christian Eriksen has been the biggest plus point for Pochettino, with the Dane playing an instrumental part in many of Spurs' recent wins after falling below his usual high standards during the opening half of the season.

There will be concerns about a defence who were outmanoeuvred time and time again by Leicester at the weekend, and Dortmund will only take confidence from how easily the East Midlands outfit created opportunities at Wembley.

Spurs have made a habit of grinding out crucial wins, though, so do not be surprised if that proves to be the case under the lights at the national stadium yet again.

Recent form: LLDWWD
Recent form (all competitions): WLLWWW


Borussia Dortmund

Jadon Sancho in action for Borussia Dortmund on October 6, 2018© Reuters

Dortmund have been one of the most impressive teams on both the domestic and European stage this season, but Lucien Favre's side are now having to try to cope with higher expectations with the opportunity of claiming silverware in front of them.

Losing out in the DFB Pokal to Werder Bremen was a significant blow to the club, and their capitulation at home to Hoffenheim at the weekend will only give encouragement to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.

Dortmund continue to hold a five-point advantage at the top of the standings, but the disappointment of conceding three goals in the final 15 minutes in their last outing has the potential to linger ahead of the trip to England.

Der BVB had not failed to prevail in two successive matches throughout this season until their current three-game winless streak, and Favre will understandably have concerns about the mentality of his squad.

Favre will attempt to stress to his players that they have reached this stage of the competition by topping a group which included Atletico Madrid, something which would have been regarded as a significant achievement given that they remain in a transitional period.

Nevertheless, the 2-0 setback in Spain was perhaps a reminder that his team are far from the finished article and despite all of their attacking talent, a sense of perspective should remain ahead of the meeting with Spurs.

Jadon Sancho will be desperate to impress onlookers in England given his recent rise to prominence, although the 18-year-old has not contributed a goal or assist away from home since December 8.

Spurs are not so naive to focus their tactics on nullifying the teenager, but all of the attention ahead of this game will naturally be placed on the prospect who is being tipped for greatness at both club and international level.

Recent form: WWWLDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDDD


Team News

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lucas Moura reacts after scoring a goal against Roma in the International Champions Cup on July 25, 2018© Reuters

Lucas Moura was only named as a substitute at the weekend, but the Brazilian could be preferred to Llorente on Wednesday night.

Eric Dier has been absent through illness, but the Englishman may return to the middle of the park with Moussa Sissoko potentially missing out.

Pochettino could revert to a back three, which would lead to Toby Alderweireld returning to the right-side of the backline.

Favre could potentially opt to stick with the same starting lineup which he selected for the game against Hoffenheim.

Dortmund had been superb for three quarters of that match, with their demise only coming after a change to the system with Paco Alcacer being brought on to lead the line.

Thomas Delaney could potentially return to the team in order to add an extra player to the midfield.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Rose; Eriksen, Moura, Son

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Piszczek, Weigl, Diallo, Hakimi; Dahoud, Witsel; Sancho, Phillip, Guerreiro; Gotze


Head To Head

Wednesday's showdown will represent just the fifth competitive contest between the sides, but each of those meetings have come since March 2016.

Dortmund recorded wins both home and away to prevail 5-1 on aggregate when the teams squared off in the last 16 of the Europa League almost three years ago.

However, Spurs emerged victorious in the double-header during last season's Champions League group stages.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Spurs are the team in form ahead of Wednesday's showdown in North London, but Leicester highlighted on Sunday that there are weaknesses at the back. Dortmund have the quality to take the chances which the Foxes wasted, and we are backing the visitors to claim a potentially-crucial win.


body check tags ::

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League tie between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund?

Tottenham Hotspur
Draw
Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham Hotspur
58.3%
Draw
13.7%
Borussia Dortmund
28.0%
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Son Heung-min in action for Spurs on December 26, 2018
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool55001541115
2Manchester CityMan City53111661010
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs522111658
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd52218448
5Leicester CityLeicester52216428
6Chelsea5221111108
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13Norwich CityNorwich5203912-36
14Burnley512267-15
15Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd512256-15
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton512258-35
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle511348-44
18Aston Villa410346-23
19Wolverhampton WanderersWolves5032610-43
20Watford5023410-62

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