Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund: Wembley woe to continue into second season for Poch

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Borussia Dortmund both halves @ 7/2 with Paddy Power

Borussia Dortmund and BTTS @ 7/2 with Paddy Power

Score draw @ 16/5 with Paddy Power

Tottenham finished third in their Champions League group which included Monaco, CSKA Moscow and AS Monaco last season and it was widely regarded that playing at Wembley was to blame. The venue of a football match cannot directly impact a performance, and although there were some very good teams to face last year, this term is going to be a whole lot tougher.

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Both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have been drawn alongside Spurs and it immediately looks like Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be up against it. The boss has strengthened the squad well this summer, signing Davinson Sanchez from Ajax, Serge Aurier from PSG and Fernando Llorente from Swansea, all players with great pedigree, but they must hit the ground running to minimise the pressure on their side as the group stage wears on. That begins at home to Dortmund.

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The Germans come into the game off the back of a difficult summer themselves, losing both manager Thomas Tuchel and star player Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona. Former Ajax boss Peter Bosz has replaced him, but it is not yet known just how much of an impact he will have initially. Playing away from home should suit Dortmund, who look to press high and get star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang into space. But Spurs also play with huge intensity, so the outcome of this game could be decided early on, depending on who makes their stamp first. Victor Wanyama will have a big game on his hands up against Mario Gotze, while Aurier will be pushed in the deep end so to speak, facing up to Marco Reus.

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As shown by the recent England games, Dele Alli needs to be brought into the game for him to impact it, and if he is marked tightly, he will become isolated and frustrated. Monaco did this in a 2-1 win last season, with Tiemoue Bakayoko keeping him quiet. Spurs then struggled to get into the game, and by keeping them at arms length, Dortmund could get off to the perfect start. Spurs will have the threat of Harry Kane, who has got off the mark for the season, but a fast start should put them in the driving seat. Tottenham will have to battle old demons, and at 7/2 to win in either halves, or even if the hosts score, Paddy Power are being rather kind with their odds here and that can be exploited.

Key battle: Mousa Dembele vs Mahmoud Dahoud

Tottenham’s attack works in stages, very similarly to Dortmund’s. Their width is created by the fullbacks, but they will always look to double up between the lines with Christian Eriksen and Alli. Dembele’s energy and dribbling ability breaks through the opposition, making it easier for them to outnumber teams.

Victor Wanyama will sit deep for Spurs, while Dahoud will do the same for the visitors. He will look to control the tempo and slow the game down, shielding the defence from the through balls and runs from Dembele. Should he perform, he will be able to supply the counter attacks from Dortmund’s pacey attack, but should Dembele come out on top Spurs will find themselves opening up a lot of chances.

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