Saturday, September 24, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur vs Borussia Dortmund Preview: Team News, Lineups And Odds

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Tottenham Hotspur start their Champions League campaign on Wednesday against the current Bundesliga league leaders, Borussia Dortmund. The Black and Yellows have an incredible record at home, in the Bundesliga but thankfully, for the Lilywhites, that won’t be taken into account as the heavyweights clash at Wembley.

Being dubbed into Group F, which is also being termed as the ‘group of death’ this campaign – Mauricio Pochettino has a difficult task in his hand to overcome the likes of Borussia Dortmund and of course, the European champions Real Madrid whilst there is also the most successful club in Cyprus in the shape of APOEL, who travel to the Bernabeu on the same day.

Both teams have had a relatively bright start to the season or at least better than what was initially expected of them at the start of this season. Borussia Dortmund lead the Bundesliga table, after securing two wins in the opening three matches while Spurs are currently fourth in the Premier League table, also with seven points but it took them four matches to reach that feat.

Borussia Dortmund are the only club in the Bundesliga not to concede any goals this season. Their defence has been solid early on this season. Although, they didn’t really had anything to defend against Hertha, Freiburg or Wolfsburg. But it seems evident that new coach Peter Bosz wants to follow the footsteps of the previous coach Thomas Tuchel by executing the possession based football to minimize the defensive actions as much as possible. Except the defenders have been much more solid, than they were last season.

Die Schwarzgelben were relentless in possession against SC Freiburg on the weekend. The visitors amassed a stunning 80% of possession against Christian Streich’s’ men but still failed to breach the 10 men defensive line of Freiburg. Pochettino might note Dortmund’s lack of dynamism in the offensive areas, as one of their key weaknesses.

But at the same time, the Londoners will also need to be aware of the long range efforts. Under Bosz, Dortmund have regained their long range scoring prowess. BVB averaged a shot distance of 16.9 meters, under Thomas Tuchel last season but after three matchdays, that mark has risen up to 20.3 meters under the tutelage of the new coach.

Tottenham on the other hand, have lost their key defender Kyle Walker this summer. As replacements, they have brought in Ajax defender, who previously worked with Peter Bosz last season, and PSG fullback Serge Aurier, who is regarded as one of the top fullbacks in the whole of Africa.

Their only blip on the road so far came against Chelsea, where they slumped to a 2:0 defeat at the hands of defending champions, Chelsea. It was also followed by a disappointing draw with Burnley but since then, Spurs’ have managed to find their rhythm, which was firmly evident in their emphatic 3:0 win over a strong Everton side.

Pochettino’s men were very efficient in creating goalscoring opportunities relative to their possession while their finishing prowess, always gave them an extra advantage on the offensive front. Dortmund need to make sure they don’t give away too many chances to the lethal Harry Kane nor any other Spurs attackers.

Team News

Both sides will be decimated by injuries and suspension. Dele Alli’s suspension will be a huge blow for the home side. The youngster was penalized for an awful challenge in the Europa League last campaign and was handed a four match suspension by the Europe’s football governing body. Danny Rose will also miss the game through injury along with midfielder Victor Wanyama and Georges Kevin-Nkoudou while Frenchman Moussa Sissoko is doubtful for the clash. Moussa Dembele is expected to feature in the midfield.

As for Dortmund, they suffer a rather big injury crisis at the moment. There are no less than seven regulars missing for the Black and Yellows. A star studded list which includes players like Marco Reus, Raphael Guerreiro, Andre Schurrle. While other important backups such as Erik Durm and Sebastian Rode will also miss the clash due to injury. In the game against Freiburg, BVB had two of their important players in Marc Bartra and Marcel Schmelzer taken off within half of time due to the injuries they sustained during the match. Both of them will miss the clash this midweek.

Predicted Lineups

Tottenham Hotspur(3-5-1-1 formation): Hugo Lloris; Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen; Kieran Trippier, Harry Winks, Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele, Ben Davies; Christian Eriksen; Harry Kane

Borussia Dortmund(4-3-3 formation): Roman Burki; Lukasz Piszczek, Sokratis, Omer Toprak, Dan-Axel Zagadou; Nuri Sahin, Gonzalo Castro, Mario Gotze; Christian Pulisic, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andriy Yarmolenko.

Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Betting Odds:

Tottenham Hotspur: 11/8

Draw: 13/5

Borussia Dortmund: 21/10

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