Tottenham return to Champions League action this evening and they will look to put their failure to advance out of the group stage last season behind them. However they will have their work cut out tonight as they play host to Borussia Dortmund.
You cannot mention this competition or even this particular club without mentioning Wembley and that will once again come to sharp focus as Mauricio Pochettino’s men are yet to win at the ground this season. They have however won both Premier League fixtures on the road and that sees them sit 5th in the Premier League.
They made very light work of an Everton side which has top six aspirations of its own last Saturday as they strolled to a 3-0 win at Goodison Park. In all fairness it could and perhaps should have been a lot heavier as Spurs created chance after chance.
Harry Kane has finally got off the mark and he will be glad that August is now behind him as he bagged a brace to open his account for the season. There was a huge slice of fortune with his first but perhaps where the luck had deserted him last month things are now starting to balance back out.
Christian Eriksen was pivotal in Tottenham’s win at the weekend and he will be required to perform at the same high level later on especially what with Dele Alli missing due to a three game suspension. It could well be that Heung min-Son deputises as part of an attacking trio.
When you talk of trios the defensive one was full effect on Merseyside as former Ajax man Davinson Sanchez made his first start of the club. The rear guard of himself, Toby Alderweirled and Jan Vertonghen looked an imperious sight but they will have their work cut out against Borussia Dortmund.
Peter Bosz’s side finished third last season in the Bundesliga although it was Thomas Tuchel who was in charge of the team last season. That position was not deemed good enough and his tenure in the Signal Iduna Park came to an end.
Bosz was in charge of Ajax last season as he led the Dutch outfit to the Europa League final where they would eventually go on to lose to Manchester United, but he had obviously done enough to impress the Dortmund hierarchy as they moved quickly to fill their newly vacant hot seat.
These matches are going to be the swing matches in regards to whether or not Tottenham qualify for either the knockout stages of this competition or whether they will have to once again make do with dropping down to the Europa League in the new year.
Realistically they are going to have to earn four points from these two encounters with Borussia Dortmund (working on the assumption that they beat APOEL Nicosia both home and away) this means that whatever positive result they can pick up here they will then need to get the opposite in Germany.
So to explain further if they draw in Wembley then nothing else than a win will be sufficient in the reverse while if they earn just a single point this evening then the trip to Germany then takes on the mantle of a must win fixture. A defeat tonight would then mean that they will have to get something from the fixtures against Real Madrid.
The last time these two sides met was back in the 2015/16 season. A Europa League Round of 16 encounter paired the clubs together for the first time and Dortmund would progress to the Quarter Finals thanks to a 5-1 aggregate victory.
As to what can they do tonight well it is certainly not going to be easy especially with the wealth of talent that Dortmund have at their disposal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus have got plenty of joy from playing against Spurs as their performances back in 2016 would have showed.
These two are still the danger men but it is danger from all across the park which is the main threat, that said there should be no discounting just exactly what this Tottenham team can do. Tonight would be the perfect time to finally rid all of this talk about a stadium curse. Whether that happens though we will just have to wait and see.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
Time for some more Champions League "Scientific Polls"
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 12, 2017