Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur
Tuesday 21 November, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 3
Dortmund in disarray as Champions League exit looms
The pressure on Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz is building after yet another catastrophic defeat in the Bundesliga on Friday. The 2-1 defeat at Stuttgart had barely begun when a horrible mix-up between defender Marc Bartra and calamity keeper Roman Burki allowed Chadrac Akolo to roll the ball into an empty net. In many ways, the second goal BVB conceded was worse, as the entire defence went walkabout to allow teenager Josip Brekalo to score his first ever Bundesliga goal.
The statistics tell you everything you need to know about the sorry state Dortmund find themselves in. They have taken one point from their last five Bundesliga matches, and they are nine points behind Bayern Munich in the title race. They have won just one of their last eight matches in all competitions, and even winning their final two Champions League games might not be enough to secure a place in the last 16.
Bosz's high defensive line has caused indecision and panic in the back four, and BVB have leaked 20 goals in their last ten games in all competitions. Bosz insists his tactics aren't to blame, and a succession of injury issues and individual mistakes in defence are at fault. In truth, it's a combination of factors, but there's no getting away from the fact that Dortmund are incredibly fragile at the moment.
Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be restored to the side after he was suspended for the Stuttgart game for a series of misdemeanours, including being late for training and participating in an unauthorised video shoot at the training ground. American wonderkid Christian Pulisic is likely to miss out with a muscle injury, while Greek defender Sokratis is out with a rib injury.
Spurs have the chance to forget derby defeat
Tottenham's hopes of launching a serious bid for the Premier League title were dealt a hefty blow on Saturday, as they produced a strangely tame display in a 2-0 defeat at north London rivals Arsenal. Spurs are now 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.
However, manager Mauricio Pochettino can take solace from his side's excellent displays in the Champions League. They have already booked their place in the last 16, they took four points from Real Madrid, and a victory in either of their last two group games will secure top spot.
With a home game against APOEL to come, you could be forgiven for thinking that Pochettino may rest key players, but it seems he wants to make a statement. Dele Alli and Harry Kane are both expected to start the match, although defender Toby Aldeweireld will miss out because of injury.
Dortmund too short given their dreadful run
Borussia Dortmund are 2.35/4 to win this, and that makes little sense to me given their total lack of defensive shape and their brittle confidence. They had some good spells at Wembley in the reverse fixture, but errors from keeper Roman Burki and the defenders in front of him cost them dearly as Spurs ran out 3-1 winners.
If Spurs can go to the Bernabeu and get a creditable 1-1 draw, they can get a result here too. I'd back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market at 1.758/11.
Goals likely as Dortmund chase the victory they need
Borussia Dortmund must win, and as such they'll have to force the pace. Given their problems defending in transition, I'd be very surprised if we don't see plenty of goals here. With Aubameyang back in the line-up Dortmund should cause Spurs a problem or two with their pace in attack, so I'd be tempted to go for Over 3.5 Goals at 2.68/5. The reverse fixture finished 3-1 to Spurs, who have scored ten goals in four Champions League games so far.
Battle of the star strikers should catch the eye
Harry Kane has already scored five goals in the Champions League this season, and after an ineffective display at Arsenal he'll doubtless be raring to go. He's trading at 2.0811/10 to score in 90 minutes, and I'm sure he'll get chances if he starts.
On the other side, Aubameyang is trading at 1.865/6, but here's a note of caution. The Gabon international hasn't scored in any of his last five games.
Back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market at 1.758/11
Back Harry Kane to score at 2.0811/10