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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Borussia Dortmund v Spurs, 21.11.17

This season's home game - Spurs 3 Borussia Dortmund 1, 13.09.17
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Spurs' record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
U.E.F.A Champions League
 P  W   D   L   F - A
22 10   5   7  41 - 28
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
European Cup Winners Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
(Winners 1963)
UEFA Cup/Europa League
 P    W   D   L   F - A
140  78  36  26  276-121 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
  The club logo of Borussia Dortmund 
P    W   D   L   F - A
203 112 47  44  403-196

Group H Table 
                P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts

1. Spurs        4  3  1  0 10-3   7  10
2. Real Madrid  4  2  1  1  8-5   3   7
3. Dortmund     4  0  2  2  4-8  -4   2
4. APOEL        4  0  1  3  2-8  -6   2 

Re-grouping in Germany

For Spurs the post-mortem following defeat at The Emirates on Saturday has just about concluded, but those who represent Spurs in Germany tomorrow know that the team's credentials are being re-examined, not just by the press and media at large, but also by their fans (me included).

The bottom line perhaps is Arsenal did to us what we have done in our best performances of the season so far. Against Dortmund on Matchday One, Real Madrid away and at home, and also in the Premier League at home against Liverpool, we let the opposition dominate possession hitting them where it hurt on the break and counter-attacking from deep in our half. The reverse was the case on Saturday lunchtime.

Mauricio Pochettino's team just have to get back to those winning ways tomorrow night, but writing this before team news, it is a mystery regarding which of the players are truly match-fit for this game. Was Danny Rose purposely left at Hotspur Way to prepare for this game? We will find out. Certainly "Poch" had no time for the negative rumour mill stories being propounded at the post-match press conferences.

Coming fairly soon after Saturday's exertions, I would imagine that Trippier and Davies will be rested, although Davies might come ino the back three for a less strenuous role, as he has previously this season, and successfully too. I've heard a rumour that Spurs U-18 defensive midfielder Oliver Skipp might be travelling with the squad, but remember there is also a UEFA U-19 match to be played. Luke Amos travelled with a previous squad and some of our younger Academy players trained with the first team squad last week. Such events are all in line with Mauricio Pochettino's project and ongoing determination to make the young upcoming players fully integrated into senior Spurs world.

The fact is we are top of the group and one win in our last two games will ensure we finish top, due to our better record against Real Madrid, who are the only team who can match our points tally. Therefore, with a final game at "home" to APOEL, you could say that defeat tomorrow would not be a disaster. However, I am sure Pochettino will be playing to win, which is his policy, if not always the overt strategy, in all our games.

Another prolonged post-mortem is surely going on in the Dortmund camp. Not only have they remarkably under-achieved in Group H with only two draws against APOEL to show for their efforts, but they have also lost their last three Bundesliga games. One of those was at home to League leaders Bayern Munich, but on Friday night they lost away to bottom half side Stuttgart, having previously been beaten 4-2 away to Hannover 96. The disappointing home draw to APOEL was also during this four match spell without a win.

Dortmund have continued to suffer player absences through injury, with Marco Reus not likely to return to action till early in the New Year. His injury was such that he was not named in Dortmund's 25 man squad for this phase of the Champions League. Now, realistically, all the German side has to play for is third place and a Europa League campaign. With a trip to The Bernebeu on Matchday 6, they will be keen to get something from tomorrow's game. BVB have had other injuries to contend with such as Piszczek (knee), Durm (hip) and Rode (pubic bone), and these players remain absent tomorrow.

The major news from the Dortmnd camp was a one match suspension imposed by the club upon star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the Stuttgart game, apparently because he failed to attend a training session. Aubameyang is in the 30 man shortlist for the Ballon D'Or, but he hasn't scored in his last five club games, having previously hit the net in the preceding five club matches. He will surely play against us, and will surely be the big danger we know he can be. Our own Harry Kane is also on that Ballon D'or shortlist and the result is due to be announced on December 6th when we will be hosting APOEL at Wembley.

Let's put Saturday out of our minds now and remember what a great Champions League campaign we have had this season. We can look forward to a Round of 16 fixture, and hopefully facing a second placed team in one of the other groups (Please not Bayern!). We could secure that top place tomorrow, but I think that might be too much to ask, so I will settle for a draw. I am predicting a 1-1 result. Please note my match report will not be submitted until late Wednesday morning.

Match referee Clement Turpin and his team of officials are from France. We have not encountered Monsieur Turpin before, but he is a Champions League and International regular. Last week he was in Peru for their World Cup play-off against New Zealand.

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - reviewing the 1997/98 season match by match. It wasn't good!

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