Last season was one to forget for Der BVB fans. Thankfully the 15/16 season has gone quite a way to restoring any image lost.
Currently standing in 2nd position, Dortmund have looked impressive, having only lost 3 games all season, and remain only 5 points behind German giants Bayern.
Dortmund fought through their Europa League group to land a tie with FC Porto. An aggregate score of 3-0 saw Dortmund ease their way into the next round. English side Tottenham await in the last 16, beginning with the first leg this Thursday in Dortmund (kickoff 1 pm ET). It seems like a game that Dortmund should easily win but Tottenham’s form this season has been nothing short of remarkable. Tottenham also occupy 2nd position in their respective league table and had it not been from Leicester City sitting in 1st, Tottenham’s position would’ve been considered the most shocking.
Normally a side that languishes around 6th-8th, Tottenham have come on strong and steadily worked their way up to 2nd. Is it luck? No. Their performances have been great. They work hard and it pays off. Some success can be attributed to Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino, but most has to go to his players for stepping up their game.
Last season’s star man Harry Kane has kept up his good form alongside Eriksen, Alli and former Leverkusen man Son Heung-min who have all impressed so far. Toby Alderweireld has also forged a strong partnership with his national compatriot at the heart of the defence.
In my opinion, this target area is the fullbacks. Danny Rose and Kyle Walker love to bombard forward down their respective sides. That provides a treat to Dortmund’s defensive line. However, both Rose and Walker are susceptible to neglecting their defensive duties. Step up Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. This could be the best way to tear apart the Tottenham defence.
Aubameyang could find it tough up top on his own, but if you’re as quick as he is then you can create opportunities out of nothing. However, patience could be key for Dortmund. Saying this, I fully expect Dortmund to be able to overcome the challenge Tottenham present. An inform Hummels could keep out the worlds best attackers and the attacking presence of Kagawa, Reus and Mkhitaryan could hold the keys to unlocking the defence.
So I guess I share the same sentiment as Mats Hummels who recently had this to say. “This is a super draw, exactly what we imagine for the Europa League and what we wanted after Porto. We are very happy. I see good chances on getting through but we will have to deliver.”
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