Champions League Preview: Tottenham looks to finish off Dortmund
Tottenham are 90 minutes away from achieving something the club hadn’t done since 2011. Make it past the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League.
With a 3-0 aggregate lead, Tottenham is in pole position as it travels to Dortmund, hoping it can hold off the Bundesliga leaders for what would be an epic comeback. Around a month ago, this result seemed nearly impossible. Dortmund was surging, leading the Bundesliga by 10 points while Tottenham had just lost Harry Kane and Dele Alli to long-term leg injuries.
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But as Spurs showed, it didn’t need Kane and Alli. Heung-min Son starred up top, Jan Vertonghen put in a Man of the Match performance at left wing back and Tottenham stunned Dortmund. Now, with Kane back and Alli returned to first team training, Tottenham has all the momentum heading into the match.
“It’s a great opportunity to play and go through to the next round in an important competition like the Champions League,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference. “Tomorrow is going to be a tough game. We need to forget the first leg.”
As he mainly just plays cup and mid-week matches, this could be Christian Pulisic’s last big hurrah before moving this summer to Chelsea. Dortmund said they believe, in front of the Yellow Wall, anything is possible.
Meanwhile, another club in league turmoil takes the field against a strong contender. Real Madrid holds a 2-1 aggregate lead ahead of the match at the Santiago Bernabeu, but they’ll be without Sergio Ramos, who’s been suspended for two matches.
Los Blancos suffered yet another defeat at arch rival Barcelona last weekend, and is desperate for some good news. Facing rising stars Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie De Jong, this could be the week for a big Champions League win at home.