Tottenham v. Dortmund Champions League
This is part of our Champions League coverage, as always, there’s more on our Champions League page!
This game features the Group A winner (Borussia Dortmund) and Group B Runner up (Tottenham Hotspur). From a fan perspective, this should be a meeting of two great clubs with a ton of history meeting as top-3 teams from their respective divisions. The first leg will take place at Wembley Stadium as Spurs temporary home.
Tottenham Hotspur have done very well in the English Premier League, but the one knock on them is a shortage of hardware. They haven’t won a league title since the 1960-1961 season (long before the formation of the current Premier League). Mauricio Pochettino has moved Spurs into the limelight and has them in the top three but the club is thirsting for trophies.
Tottenham currently sit in third position in the Premier League even though they’ve had two losses in the last four. To further confound the situation, both of these losses were at home where the first leg will be. Tottenham have been quite a bit better away from home than at Wembley. At Wembley, they are averaging 1.8 goals scored per game while conceding one per game. They’ve taken 18 of 30 points at home which is good for 8th in the Premier League for away form. Their away form, on the other hand leads the League where they have garnered 33 of 39 points.
Their Champions League home form has been actually pretty good, having earned 6 of their 9 possible points. It’s been their away form thats been bad, where they’ve managed only 2 of 9 points. They’ve scored as many goals at home as they’ve conceded (5). 4 of 5 goals they’ve conceded (and 2 of the 5 they’ve scored) came in a 6 goal shootout with Barcelona.
Since Pep Guardiola left their biggest rival in Bayern Munich, Dortmund has been the team to beat. They’ve acquired talent and continued to use their momentum to continue steam rolling. However, it’s been a number of years since they’ve been able to track down a major international trophy. In fact, they won the Champions League only once in the clubs history in the 1996-1997 season, although they were runners up in 2012-2013.
In the domestic league, Dortmund are leading the Bundesliga pack by a 6 point cushion and there is a 15 point gap between them and the fifth-placed (non-Champions League qualifying) team. They have won 14 of their 18 matches and have only had one loss on the season. Although Dortmund has not been as prolific in scoring goals on the road, they’ve actually had fewer concessions on the road. There is a one game difference (10 at home, 9 on the road), but they’ve conceded four less goals on the road. Although, when you average just shy of 2 goals scored per game on the road, it’s not a problem to concede one per game.
In the Champions League, Dortmund secures 6 of 9 points on the road in the group stage. They had one loss against Atlético Madrid that accounted for the two goals they’ve allowed. The remainder of their games they conceded not a single goal and averaged 1.5 goals scored per game. Overall, through the entirety of the group stages they dropped a mere 5 points.
What to expect
Both sides are going to come into this one firing. Tottenham will very much want to have a lead heading into the away fixture, and even if they can only manage a draw, I think they’ll view it as a win. Both Tottenham and Dortmund have been in better form in their respective positions for the 2nd leg, but Mauricio Pochettino would love to be able to take care of business at Wembley. Doing this would force Dortmund to go a a little more attacking in the 2nd leg which for my money is already slanted towards Tottenham. There is also the possibility that Harry Kane could return for the second leg, which goes without saying, would be a great asset for Tottenham.
Last Update: January 23, 2019