Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday September 13, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 3
Tottenham must maintain momentum after Everton win
If anything showcased the struggles Spurs have been suffering at their adopted Wembley home, it was their excellent performance at Goodison Park on Saturday. After Harry Kane had given them the lead with a cross that flew beyond Everton keeper Jordan Pickford, Spurs picked apart a good side with impressive regularity. A 3-0 win could've been even more handsome.
Tottenham played with freedom and flair, and must now try to replicate that display at Wembley. This season, they have lost to Chelsea and drawn with Burnley at the home of English football - with injury time goals costing them in both games - while last season's European games there were an unmitigated disaster. Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen both took maximum points, and the low point was a Europa League draw with Gent that saw the Lilywhites tumble out of the competition.
The problem with Spurs playing at Wembley is twofold. Firstly, they are robbed of the fantastic atmosphere that can be generated at White Hart Lane. Secondly, playing at Wembley inspires opposition players, and I suspect Dortmund's talented gang will be no exception.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made a bad error when he played a weakened side against Dortmund in the Europa League two seasons ago, and BVB wiped the floor with them over two legs. He won't make the same mistake, and will select his strongest available side. Danny Rose and Victor Wanyama are still injured, and Dele Alli is suspended after he was sent off against Gent.
Dortmund looking to forget Freiburg frustration
It was all going so well for Peter Bosz's Borussia Dortmund. Comfortable wins over Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin gave them maximum points from their first two Bundesliga games, and they must have thought they would continue that run at Freiburg on Saturday. The Black Forest side were reduced to ten men as debutant Yoric Ravet was sent off just shy of the half-hour mark for a horrific challenge on Marcel Schmelzer, but Dortmund huffed and puffed, and couldn't find a way through.
It was a jarringly poor attacking display when you consider how good BVB have been going forward this season. They scored twice against Bayern in the Supercup, smashed in three goals against Wolfsburg, and produced two superb goals against a well-drilled Hertha side.
I'd be surprised if Dortmund struggled again on Wednesday night, especially in the wide open spaces of Wembley. New signing Andriy Yarmolenko has joined a forward line that includes the reigning Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang, American wonderkid Christian Pulisic, and German U21 star Maximilian Philipp. Fans favourite Nuri Sahin has looked good in midfield, and Mario Goetze is on the road to recovery after being hampered by a metabolic disorder.
Poor old Schmelzer has had a rough time with injury problems of late, and the captain misses the trip to London. Spanish defender Marc Bartra is also out. Omer Toprak will probably partner Sokratis in central defence, while French youngster Dan-Axel Zagadou or new signing Jeremy Toljan may replace Schmelzer at left-back. Marco Reus and Raphael Guerreiro are still sidelined.
The market simply doesn't reflect reality. Opta tell us Spurs have won two of their last nine Champions League games, they don't have Dele Alli, and Dortmund went unbeaten in two UCL group games against Real Madrid last season. There are plenty of people suggesting that BVB have some kind of injury crisis, but their squad is very deep these days, and they'll be able to field a very good team.
I can't see why Spurs are trading at [2.4] here, so I'll back Dortmund Draw No Bet at [2.32], which means we win if they win and our stake is returned in the event of a draw.
I'm leaning towards overs here, despite the skinny price of [1.76]. Ten of Dortmund's last 12 Champions League games have featured three goals or more, and new coach Peter Bosz played attacking football in the Europa League with Ajax last season.
With Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen sparkling against Everton at the weekend, I suspect Spurs may contribute a goal or two to the contest.
Harry Kane scored his 100th and 101st goals for Spurs against Everton, and is trading at [1.98] to score in 90 minutes.
Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang has already scored in three of his four games this season, and he terrorised Spurs in the Europa League. He's available at evens on the Sportsbook.