Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 clash between Spurs and Borussia Dortmund.

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

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  • 2019-02-11 19:10:29 9 months ago
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Tottenham Hotspur play host to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie having only reached this stage of the competition with a dramatic 1-1 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Dortmund have enjoyed an excellent campaign, but the German giants make the trip to Wembley Stadium having failed to win any of their last three matches.


Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on December 29, 2018© Reuters

Spurs would have acknowledged that they faced an uphill task to reach the knockout stages of this competition having recorded just one point from their first three group games, but the desire shown in the remaining matches suggests that they can be contenders to lift the trophy in just under four months' time.

There was nothing pretty about the way that chances were squandered against PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan before vital points were eventually secured, but their draw against Barcelona showed the rest of Europe that they should not be written off.

Barcelona had already qualified as group winners ahead of that encounter, but it takes a strong team not to be overawed by the cauldron of noise created at Camp Nou and Mauricio Pochettino's side were fully deserving of their share of the spoils.

Pochettino will be wary of the threat offered by Dortmund over the next 180 minutes of football, although there will be an appreciation that the draw has been relatively kind to the North London outfit given some of the other teams which they could have faced.

Harry Kane will be missing for the first leg of this tie, but Son Heung-min has shown that he is an able deputy to the club's top goalscorer and Fernando Llorente continues to chip in with contributions despite his lack of suitability to Pochettino's favoured system.

However, the return to form of Christian Eriksen has been the biggest plus point for Pochettino, with the Dane playing an instrumental part in many of Spurs' recent wins after falling below his usual high standards during the opening half of the season.

There will be concerns about a defence who were outmanoeuvred time and time again by Leicester at the weekend, and Dortmund will only take confidence from how easily the East Midlands outfit created opportunities at Wembley.

Spurs have made a habit of grinding out crucial wins, though, so do not be surprised if that proves to be the case under the lights at the national stadium yet again.

Recent form: LLDWWD
Recent form (all competitions): WLLWWW


Borussia Dortmund

Jadon Sancho in action for Borussia Dortmund on October 6, 2018© Reuters

Dortmund have been one of the most impressive teams on both the domestic and European stage this season, but Lucien Favre's side are now having to try to cope with higher expectations with the opportunity of claiming silverware in front of them.

Losing out in the DFB Pokal to Werder Bremen was a significant blow to the club, and their capitulation at home to Hoffenheim at the weekend will only give encouragement to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.

Dortmund continue to hold a five-point advantage at the top of the standings, but the disappointment of conceding three goals in the final 15 minutes in their last outing has the potential to linger ahead of the trip to England.

Der BVB had not failed to prevail in two successive matches throughout this season until their current three-game winless streak, and Favre will understandably have concerns about the mentality of his squad.

Favre will attempt to stress to his group of players that they have reached this stage of the competition by topping a group which included Atletico Madrid, something which would have been regarded as a significant achievement given that they remain in a transitional period.

Nevertheless, the 2-0 setback in Spain was perhaps a reminder that his team are far from the finished article and despite all of their attacking talent, a sense of perspective should remain ahead of the meeting with Spurs.

Jadon Sancho will be desperate to impress onlookers in England given his recent rise to prominence, although the 18-year-old has not contributed a goal or assist away from home since December 8.

Spurs are not so naive to focus their tactics on nullifying the teenager, but all of the attention ahead of this game will naturally be placed on the prospect who is being tipped for greatness at both club and international level.

Recent form: WWWLDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDDD


Team News

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lucas Moura reacts after scoring a goal against Roma in the International Champions Cup on July 25, 2018© Reuters

Lucas Moura was only named as a substitute at the weekend, but the Brazilian could be preferred to Llorente on Wednesday night.

Eric Dier has been absent through illness, but the Englishman may return to the middle of the park with Moussa Sissoko potentially missing out.

Pochettino could revert to a back three, which would lead to Toby Alderweireld returning to the right-side of the backline.

Favre could potentially opt to stick with the same starting lineup which he selected for the game against Hoffenheim.

Dortmund had been superb for three quarters of that match, with their demise only coming after a change to the system with Paco Alcacer being brought on to lead the line.

Thomas Delaney could potentially return to the team in order to add an extra player to the midfield.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Rose; Eriksen, Moura, Son

Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Piszczek, Weigl, Diallo, Hakimi; Dahoud, Witsel; Sancho, Phillip, Guerreiro; Gotze


Head To Head

Wednesday's showdown will represent just the fifth competitive contest between the sides, but each of those meetings have come since March 2016.

Dortmund recorded wins both home and away to prevail 5-1 on aggregate when the teams squared off in the last 16 of the Europa League almost three years ago.

However, Spurs emerged victorious in the double-header during last season's Champions League group stages.


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We say: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Spurs are the team in form ahead of Wednesday's showdown in North London, but Leicester highlighted on Sunday that there are weaknesses at the back. Dortmund have the quality to take the chances which the Foxes wasted, and we are backing the visitors to claim a potentially-crucial win.


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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Borussia Dortmund - prediction, team news, lineups

Manchester United team news: Injury, suspension list vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will face the toughest test of his interim Manchester United reign so far on Tuesday when the Red Devils welcome Paris Saint Germain to Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

United's turnaround under the Norwegian has been remarkable, winning 10 and losing none of his 11 matches at the helm to climb back into the top four.

Tuesday match is the first of a huge run of fixtures which also sees United take on Chelsea and Liverpool in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively over the next two weeks.

However, PSG have been hit by injuries to key players in the build-up to the match, with the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani among those expected to miss out.

Here, Sports Mole looks at United's latest injury and suspension news ahead of the mouth-watering showdown.



MAN UTD'S INJURY LIST

Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof for Manchester United in August 2018© Reuters

Status: Slight doubt
Type of injury: Knock
Possible return date: February 12

Lindelof missed Saturday's win over Fulham after picking up a knock, but Solskjaer expects the Swede to return in time for Tuesday's match.



Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United on August 27, 2018© Reuters

Status: Out
Type of injury: Muscle
Possible return date: February 24

Valencia has not featured since January 2 and faces another couple of weeks on the sidelines after suffering a setback in training.



Matteo Darmian

Matteo Darmian in action for Manchester United on August 10, 2018© Reuters

Status: Out
Type of injury: Knock
Possible return date: February 24

Darmian is also expected to miss the next couple of weeks having picked up a knock in training.



Marcos Rojo

Marcos Rojo pictured for Manchester United in December 2018© Reuters

Status: Out
Type of injury: Knock
Possible return date: February 24

Rojo's lengthy absence is nearing an end, but Tuesday's match will come too soon for him to be considered for selection.



MAN UTD SUSPENSION LIST

United have no players suspended for this match.


How Tottenham Hotspur could line up against Borussia Dortmund

Tottenham Hotspur head into the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Borussia Dortmund having recorded three successive wins in all competitions.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have been far from their best in victories over Watford, Newcastle United and Leicester City, but the Argentine will be delighted that his players managed to grind out wins at Wembley Stadium.

Spurs only reached this stage of the Champions League by claiming a 1-1 draw away at Barcelona in their final group-stage fixture.

Pochettino has a number of selection dilemmas ahead of Wednesday's contest, and here Sports Mole looks at how the North London outfit could line up against the Bundesliga leaders.



TOTXI VS. BOR

Out: Harry Kane (ankle), Dele Alli (hamstring), Ben Davies (groin), Vincent Janssen (knee)
Doubtful: Eric Dier (illness), Erik Lamela (back)

Pochettino could be able to call upon Eric Dier after a spell out through illness, and the England international may partner Harry Winks in midfield.

Erik Lamela also missed Sunday's win over Leicester with a back problem, but Pochettino has suggested that the playmaker may make a return on Wednesday night.

Lucas Moura is likely to return in place of Fernando Llorente, with Son Heung-min being given the responsibility of leading the line due to the absence of Harry Kane.

Pochettino is expected to revert to a back three, with Toby Alderweireld being used on the right side of the defence and Oliver Skipp dropping out of the side.

Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose should both retain their places on the flanks.

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