Both teams are enduring a difficult stint going into Tuesday’s Champions League contest, the major difference being that Tottenham are already guaranteed a spot in the round of 16.
Both teams struggling
Spurs and Dortmund have lost three of their last five matches in all competitions, with the German side coming off two successive defeats, to Stuttgart and Bayern. The German giants haven’t won in four matches, their season currently tailspinning out of control.
The team’s last win came about a month ago, when they thrashed minnows Magdeburg 5-0 in the German Cup. Anything but a home win and a favourable result in the Madrid vs. APOEL match will see Dortmund bow out of the Champions League at the earliest stage.
Things haven’t been rolling along for Tottenham either, at least on the domestic front. Spurs have lost their last three domestic encounters, two of which – away to Arsenal and Manchester United – in the Premier League. The other loss came at the hands of West Ham in the Carabao Cup.
While Spurs supporters, regardless of the situation, loath losing to Arsenal and Manchester United, neutrals wouldn’t have bat an eyelid had these results occurred a few seasons ago. But Tottenham are now expected to compete, if not beat, the very best, which is exactly what they’ve done in the Champions League.
Champions League – Tottenham’s best chance for silverware
With a win in Dortmund, Tottenham will secure top spot in Group H going into the round of 16 draw, hopefully affording a slightly easier opponent in the knockout stages. Spurs are unbeaten in four European matches, including a 3-1 win at Wembley on opening night against tomorrow’s opponents.
Other than the FA Cup, the Champions League offers Tottenham’s best chance of winning silverware this season. So expect Mauricio Pochettino to go rabidly for Dortmund’s exposed jugular. He will start his best team so Tottenham can lock up first place with a home match to spare.
Spurs’ confidence, with their recent domestic defeats in mind, won’t be damaged. Tottenham are firing on all cylinders in the Champions League and will be up for another gargantuan task on Tuesday.
The Champions League perfectly suits Tottenham’s current makeup, as they’re comfortable soaking up pressure and countering with precision and deadliness. Don’t be surprised if Tottenham make a deep run in this competition as it’s always the trophy top managers covet most.
And make no mistake, Pochettino has groomed them success in this campaign.
The time for Spurs, who probably won’t be able to rein runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, on the European stage is now.
Expect Tottenham to put Dortmund out of their misery tomorrow by leaving Germany with at least a share of the spoils, ensuring they can secure top spot in the group with a Wembley win against APOEL on December 6.
And from there who knows what treasures await in Tottenham’s dream of conquering Europe.
(This piece was originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)