Tottenham fans will go into tonight’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund with expectation and hope of a home victory – but Spurs will need to be at their best to overcome the Bundesliga side.
Die Schwarzgelben are not the same team Spurs beat comfortably twice in qualification from the group of death last season.
This term Dortmund have stormed ahead in the Bundesliga, losing just once all season and are currently five points clear of Bayern Munich in second.
In the Champions League, they lost once away to Atletico Madrid, who they had impressively dismantled 4-0 at the Westfalenstadion and topped their group to set up the tie with Tottenham.
This is clearly not the Dortmund of last season that Spurs beat 3-1 at White Hart Lane and 2-1 in Germany.
This is a new-look side led by Lucien Favre, the football-obsessed Swiss who is not afraid to give youth a chance; the visiting manager also favours an expansive 4-2-3-1 attacking style of play.
This current Dortmund side is being praised highly all across Germany with top European clubs casting eyes on their talented group of players.
Many observers are comparing them to Dortmund’s golden generation of the ’90s and Jurgen Klopp’s teams – it certainly is set to be a mouth-watering tie between two of Europe’s up-and-coming football clubs.
It will be a very tricky and difficult tie for Tottenham, especially as they host Arsenal in the North London Derby just three days before the crucial second leg in Dortmund.
This tie will no doubt be settled by small details or a magical moment as there is such a thin margin between the two sides.
If Tottenham is to progress they will need to deal with Dortmund’s many attacking stars, including Paco Alcacer, Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus – the latter is set to miss tonight’s first leg.
The Ruhr Valley outfit have been free-scoring this season and all three have been getting rave reviews and earned call-ups for their respective countries.
With three England versus Germany clashes in the last sixteen, this promises to be the tightest and most intriguing, with the winner of this tie emerging as possible dark horses to win the competition.
Dortmund will need to beware of Son Heung-min, who has an impressive scoring record against the German side – Tottenham supporters will hope their favourite can do damage in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli.