Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham Hotspur
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Borussia Dortmund need to beat Group H leaders Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday (kick-off 02:45 GMT+7) and hope Real Madrid fail to win at APOEL Nicosia to keep their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages alive.
The Yellow-Blacks suffered a third defeat in four matches at Stuttgart on Friday, but Peter Bosz’s side will be boosted by the return of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the squad for the defeat at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Christian Pulisic also missed that game due a muscle complaint, and is set to be sidelined on Tuesday too, with the USA starlet taking no part in training on Monday. Centre-backs Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Ömer Toprak are rated as doubtful with rib and knee injuries respectively.
Spurs duo Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama remain long-term absentees, but England internationals Harry Kane and Delle Alli are both expected to start after playing 75 minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to North London rivals Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino’s charges, who have already sealed their place in the last 16 of the competition, will secure top spot in the group if they match Real’s result in Cyprus.
Dortmund: Bürki – Toljan, Zagadou, Bartra, Schmelzer (c) – Götze, Weigl, Kagawa – Yarmolenko, Aubameyang, Philipp
Absentees: Reus (both knee), Durm (hip), Rode (pubic bone), Sokratis (rib), Pulisic (muscular)
Coach: Peter Bosz
Tottenham: Lloris (c) – Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen – Trippier, Dembele, Winks, Davies – Alli, Eriksen – Kane
Absentees: Alderweireld (hamstring), Wanyama (knee), Lamela (hip)
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino
- Aubameyang has scored 15 goals in all competitions for Dortmund this season, including one in the Champions League.
- Dortmund have reached the knockout stages of the tournament in four of the last five seasons (as well as the Europa League quarter-finals in 2015/16).
- Pulisic became Dortmund’s youngest ever Champions League player when he featured in BVB’s 6-0 victory over Legia Warsaw on 14 September 2016 – four days before his 18th birthday.
- Pulisic chalked up yet another milestone on 8 March 2017 when he found the net in a 4-0 last 16 victory over Benfica, becoming the youngest Borussia player ever to score in the competition.
- Bosz’s troops have only won once since September – against Magdeburg in the second round of the DFB Cup.
- Kane has scored 17 goals in his last 14 appearances for club and country
BVB and Bosz in need of a pick-me-up
It hasn’t been a happy few months for Dortmund, who have only managed a single victory in eight outings since the October international break – and that was against third-tier Magdeburg in the DFB Cup. The Black-and-Yellows could really do with a return to winning ways against already-qualified Tottenham tonight, to at least boost their hopes of making it through to the UEFA Europa League group stage. Three points would also be a very welcome birthday present for coach Peter Bosz, who turns 54 today.