Although die Schwarzgelben did not lose their Klassiker clash against Bayern Munich this past weekend and put in an impressive performance to keep the likes of Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski out the match, the result did not help them close the gap on die Roten at the top of the table. Thomas Tuchel’s men, unfortunately, were unable to score in a game that finished as 0-0, but was far from dull.
In fact, Sunday’s game resembled, at times, more of a chess match than a football game as Tuchel and Pep Guardiola attempted to outwit each other. Ultimately, they in essence cancelled each other out, and whilst it was an encouraging sign for Dortmund – especially given how they were humiliated 5-1 in the first Klassiker of this season – it still leaves the gap between no. 1 and no. 2 remaining at five points.
Meanwhile, Tottenham will also be coming into this game having had to settle for a point in a massive fixture this past weekend. However, unlike Borussia Dortmund, who may view the draw as one point won, Spurs will view their 2-2 stalemate against Arsenal in the London Derby as two points dropped. Mauricio Pochettino will have been absolutely livid with his men after they were unable to see off a 10-man Arsenal to close out the game and more important, the gap between themselves and league leaders Leicester City.
However, Tottenham will have to move on quickly as they will be facing a side who have won four out of their past five fixtures across all competitions, and are just one of two teams remaining in the competition who secured their spot through three play-off rounds. Still, the visitors, who will missing young starlet Dele Alli due to suspension, as well as Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie as a result of injury, have been no slouches in the Europa League. Having dispatched Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate, Tottenham will obviously be facing a much tougher opponent than the Viola as they seek to make it to the quarter-finals and beyond.
For Borussia Dortmund, this will be their first appearance in the Europa League since the 2010/2011 season. And here’s an interesting fact: die Schwarzgelben are welcoming an English opponent for the first time since the 1996/1997 Champions League semi-finals, in which they took on Manchester United.
Alright, perhaps that is not the most unique stat, but it gets even more fascinating as Borussia Dortmund went on to famously win the trophy that season. So, nearly two decades on, does this bode well for the German side? Or will Tottenham head back to London with a vital win in hand?
Curiously enough, this will be the first competitive meeting between Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham; the two sides have met four times previously in friendlies. Should the hosts win, it will mark the first time they have defeated Spurs; having lost three and drawn the other of their prior quartet of friendlies.
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