Dortmund face decisive Tottenham fixture
Borussia Dortmund’s already slim hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League round of 16 could disappear altogether on matchday five, when opponents Tottenham Hotspur FC have the chance to clinch first place in Group H.
• Dortmund have collected only two points from their first four fixtures and are level on points with APOEL FC. Tottenham, by contrast, have ten points – including three from the 3-1 matchday one defeat of Dortmund – and booked their place in the knockout stages with an impressive victory against Real Madrid CF last time out.
• Dortmund must therefore win and hope Madrid do not do likewise away to APOEL to stay in contention for a top-two place.
• Tottenham would ensure first place with a win, or if they at least match Madrid’s result due to their superior head-to-head.
• Dortmund held sway when these sides met in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 16, winning both legs for a 5-1 aggregate triumph. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus (2) got the goals in a 3-0 first-leg victory in Dortmund before Aubameyang struck twice more at White Hart Lane, Heung-Min Son scoring a consolation for the hosts.
• The line-ups at the BVB Stadion Dortmund on 10 March 2016 were:
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Hummels, Schmelzer, Durm, Castro, Bender (Subotić 58), Weigl, Mkhitaryan, Reus (Kagawa 82), Aubameyang (Adrián Ramos 82).
Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies, Carroll, Onomah, Mason, Chadli (Dembélé 58), Eriksen (Lamela 65), Son (Kane 76).
• The German club are yet to win in this season’s group stage; at home they lost 3-1 to Madrid on matchday two before being held 1-1 by APOEL in their last fixture.
• BVB are without a win in their last three European home games (D1 L2). They have won only one of their last nine European matches (D3 L5), home and away, and had lost four in a row prior to drawing at APOEL on matchday three.
• Dortmund’s record at home to English clubs is W6 D4 L1; the sole defeat came at the hands of Tottenham’s north London neighbours Arsenal FC, who were 1-0 winners in the 2013/14 group stage.
• Contesting the group stage for the 12th time and a sixth in seven years, Dortmund have reached the knockout stage on their last four UEFA Champions League appearances. In 2016/17, they beat SL Benfica 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 16, subsequently losing 6-3 to AS Monaco FC over two legs (2-3 home, 1-3 away).
• That home defeat by Monaco ended Dortmund’s seven-match unbeaten home run in Europe (W5 D2).
• Dortmund scooped seven points at home in last season’s group stage, overcoming Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 and Legia Warszawa 8-4 – the latter providing the most goals in a UEFA Champions League match.
• Mauricio Pochettino’s side have collected four points from their two away games this season, winning 3-0 at APOEL before the 1-1 draw in Madrid on matchday three.
• Tottenham had lost their previous two European away games before winning at APOEL. They picked up four points on their travels in the 2016/17 group stage.
• The Lilywhites have won three of their last 13 European away matches (D4 L6).
• Tottenham’s record in Germany is W3 D2 L6; that 2016 defeat at Dortmund is their sole loss in the last four visits (W1 D2). They most recently drew 0-0 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in last season’s group stage.
• Their heaviest European defeat came in Germany – an 8-0 loss at 1. FC Köln in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
• This is Tottenham’s third time in the group stage and a second foray in as many seasons – the first time they have managed consecutive European Cup campaigns.
• Twelve months ago, Tottenham came third in their group and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they fell 3-2 on aggregate to KAA Gent in the round of 32.
Coach and player links
• Davinson Sánchez played under Dortmund coach Peter Bosz at AFC Ajax in 2016/17.
• Ömer Toprak, Gonzalo Castro and Heung-Min Son were team-mates at Leverkusen between 2013 and 2015.
• Have played in England:
Nuri Şahin (Liverpool FC, 2012/13)
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United FC, 2012–14)
André Schürrle (Chelsea FC, 2013–15)
• Reus and Mario Götze each scored in Dortmund’s 4-1 victory away to an Ajax side featuring Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen in the 2012/13 group stage.
• Kagawa and Jan Vertonghen both struck in Manchester United’s 3-2 Premier League loss at home to Tottenham in September 2012.
• Harry Kane and Eric Dier found the net in England’s 3-2 friendly win against Germany in March 2016; Götze, Reus and Schürrle played for Germany.
• Eriksen got Denmark’s goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with Germany in June 2017.
• Son scored five times in his five matches against Dortmund with Hamburger SV and Leverkusen.
• These clubs have two former players in common: midfielder Steffen Freund went to White Hart Lane from Dortmund in 1998; defender Lee Young-Pyo left Spurs for Dortmund in 2008.