Football fans around the world are being treated to some very exciting games this week in the Champions League. Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund is certainly a match-up that many will be keen to watch in this first set of knockout fixtures.
Tottenham have been in good form recently in the Premier League and, following defeat to Manchester United, went on to win all 4 of their next games. They're now in a strong position to finish 3rd in the Premier Leauge at the end of the season and will qualify for a place in the Champions League by doing so.
Tottenham's Champions League campaign has resulted in a mixed bag of results, winning 2, losing 2, and drawing 2 in the group stages. These results led to them qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition by finishing 2nd in Group B behind Barcelona. It should be noted, however, that they finished on the same number of points as Inter Milan and progressed due to the head-to-head stats.
Dortmund are currently sat in 1st place in the Bundesliga on 50 points, 5 points clear of Bayern Munich. Although the team has only lost 1 game in the domestic season, they have had a bit of a wobble in recent weeks and drew their last 2 games.
Dortmund finished in 1st place in Group A of the Champions League group stages, qualifying for the next round alongside Atletico Madrid. They made light work of the group stage by winning 2, losing 1, and drawing 1, accumulating an impressive 13 points.
Head to Head
Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund have only faced off against each other 4 times, with all fixtures taking place from March 2016 onwards. In the previous 4 meetings between the clubs, Tottenham won 2 and Borussia Dortmund won 2. Notably, Tottenham won both meetings between the clubs in the Champions League last season.
Tottenham go into the fixture as slight favourites over Borussia Dortmund but that is most likely due to the fact that they are the home team. Although Tottenham have been on a good run of form lately, it is difficult to see them being dominant throughout the game against Dortmund, who are a real force this season. Nonetheless, this is an opportunity for Tottenham to put a mark on this fixture before they have to travel to Signal Iduna Park where Dortmund would be expected to be fairly heavy favourites.
Strategically, Tottenham need to find a way to control the possession statistics as this will allow them to play their natural game. If this were to turn into an open, end to end game, then Borussia are renowned for being a top-class counter-attacking team and would likely find opportunities to punish Tottenham. Perhaps the most important thing for Tottenham to focus on here is to try to maintain a clean sheet. Allowing Dortmund to score would make things much more difficult with the away goal rule.
Dortmund have had a great season so far domestically and in the Champions League, but this is a tough tie against Tottenham. BVB will be wanting revenge for the two defeats they suffered in last season's campaign and this is a great opportunity to put things right. The away goal rule could be important in this fixture so Dortmund are likely to play rather attacking football in this first away leg.
Strategically, although Tottenham have been in good form, they have looked vulnerable against high-quality teams and this is something Dortmund could look to exploit. Playing fast, attacking football would grant BVB with opportunities on goal but they also need to be aware that Tottenham have the ability to punish them at the other end. The midfield battle could be key here and if Dortmund can dominate these statistics, they will have a good chance to get a positive result on Wednesday night.
Although Tottenham are favourites in this fixture, I believe Dortmund will cause them plenty of issues. With the form that Dortmund have shown so far this season, they certainly have the talent to get the win here.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund win
Score Prediction: Tottenham 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund
Although Tottenham could win this game, the odds on Borussia Dortmund were too tempting for me to pass on. I have also backed X2 and the Over 2.5 Goals market.
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