Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham: Europa League 1st leg preview & predicted line-ups

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Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham is one of the most mouthwatering ties in the Europa League last 16.

Currently both Dortmund and Spurs are second in their respective leagues, the Bundesliga and Premier League, and have both gained a reputation for a high pressing style with pace and counter attacking ability on the break.

Dortmund eased past Porto in the last round and are undoubtedly favourites to win this competition. Tottenham produced a fine second leg against Fiorentina and whoever wins this tie will be tipped to win the Europa League.

Thomas Tuchel’s side are on a fine run – unbeaten since December, a run of 15 games.

On Saturday, Dortmund drew 0-0 with Bayern Munich and intriguingly changed their usual tactical system to deal with Pep Guardiola’s side.

The 3-4-3 formation worked well for Dortmund but it would be a surprise were they to use it in the first leg against Tottenham.

West Ham employed similar tactics against Spurs at Upton Park last week so a 3-4-3 could be seen from Dortmund next week at White Hart Lane in the second leg.

For the first game, we suspect Dortmund will use all their big gun attacking players as they look to gain a healthy advantage.

Dortmund have some of the best attacking players in Europe and even a Tottenham defence that is the best in the Premier League will be tested by Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Mauricio Pochettino has taken the Europa League seriously this season and will surely put out Tottenham’s strongest side with the regular rotation of his full backs.

Spurs are without Dele Alli for the first game in Dortmund due to suspension and Eric Dier has been rested. So much will depend on the likely midfield pairing of Ryan Mason and Mousa Dembele. Nabil Bentaleb and Tom Carroll are other options to partner the Belgian.

If the Tottenham midfield can stop the supply from Ilkay Gundogan forward, they will have a chance of getting a result. Even then, Toby Alderwereld and Kevin Wimmer will have to be at the very top of their game in the heard of the Spurs defence.

There have been suggestions that Tottenham are beginning to tire as the season progresses, but against Arsenal on Saturday they outran their north London rivals and it will be intriguing to see whether they can do the same to Dortmund.

Tottenham will be delighted if they have kept the tie alive in the first leg, but an away goal or two could be massive from the first leg.

Spurs do have some serious attacking threats, including Harry Kane, Erik Lamela (who thrives in this competition) and Heung-Min Son had a superb record against Dortmund during his time in the Bundesliga.

With over 80,000 fans at Signal-Iduna-Park this should be some occasion.

Borussia Dortmund predicted starting XI: Roman Burki, Lukasz Piszczek, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer, Julian Wiegl, ILkay Gundogan, Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Tottenham predicted starting XI: Hugo Lloris, Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderwereld, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies, Ryan Mason, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Heung-Min Son & Harry Kane.

101 Great Goals Borussia Dortmund v Spurs prediction: 2-0

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