Expert Soccer Betting Picks: Tottenham vs. Borussia Dortmund Champions League
When Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund clash on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchups, this will mark the third meeting between the two clubs in the last three seasons. Tottenham did the double over Dortmund in the 2017 Champions' League group stage, while Dortmund got the jump on the Hotspurs in the 2016 Europa League quarterfinals. Both teams got to this point in different fashions as Dortmund topped Group A on 13 points (4-1-1) and beat out Atletico on goal differential. Tottenham finished second in their group on eight points (2-2-2) by virtue of scoring more away goals head-to-head versus Inter Milan.
Tottenham have not experienced much success in European competition, winning just one UEFA Cup Final all the way back in 1984. Since then, they have not gotten past the quarterfinals of either the Champions League or Europa League in 12 attempts.
Their opponent, Borussia Dortmund, are currently leading the Bundesliga table by seven points over their nearest rival. In Europe, Dortmund has tasted success just once in their Champions League career, winning the 1997 final over Juventus. They also have a runner-up finish in 2013 as they lost to German rival, Bayern Munich.
As it currently stands, Borussia Dortmund are -163 favorites to advance to the quarter-finals. If you believe in Dortmund and their home-field advantage enough to warrant a bet to win the whole tournament, you can get a piece of them at +2500, behind the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. If you believe that Tottenham and their depleted squad can pull off the upset, you can get them at +120 to advance to the quarters and +2500 to lift their first ever European trophy.
First Leg: Wednesday February 13 @ 3:00 pm
Second Leg: Tuesday March 5 @ 3:00 pm
After a disastrous week to end January, Tottenham has seemingly righted the ship and has reeled off three straight league wins over Leicester City, Newcastle and Watford. Those nine points have pushed them up to table into third, just five points back of top-place Manchester City. The return of Son Heung-Min seemed to have sparked the troops as Son was out on international duty for the Asian Cup playoffs. The elevation in play of Christian Eriksen is also a big reason that the Hotspur have won three on the trot and are being given a chance in this tie against a good Dortmund team.
Aside from Harry Kane and Dele Alli's longstanding injury, Tottenham have decisions to make regarding the starting 11. Eric Dier, who has been out sick, is figured to draw back in and replace Moussa Sissoko in the midfield, while Lucas Moura may take Fernando Llorente's place in the starting eleven, which would give free roam as the out and out striker. And lastly, Toby Alderweireld could return to lead a back-three in defense should Mauricio Pochettino opt to go to back three.
Probable Starting XI: Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Dier, Winks, Rose, Eriksen, Moura, Son
Borussia Dortmund Storylines
Borussia Dortmund sit atop the Bundesliga table, but things haven't been as rosy at the Dortmund side would have preferred lately. They have dropped points in two straight games, giving second-place Bayern Munich a second chance at making a charge at top spot. They also have injury concerns in the heart of defense as Manuel Akanji out long term through injury. Akanji is essentially the glue that holds the defense together. And against a free-flowing side like Tottenham, it's vital that Dortmund figure out their defensive responsibilities in a hurry.
Up front, Marco Reus is most likely to miss out on the first leg through injury, and that could prove costly considering Reus has been involved in 33 percent of Dortmund's goals to date. However, Dortmund do have excellent players at all 11 positions on the field, and they can take solace in the fact that it was extremely easy for Leicester City to generate several quality chances against the Hotspur backline just this past Sunday.
Probable Starting XI: Burki; Piszczek, Weigl, Diallo, Hakimi, Dahoud, Witsel; Sancho, Phillip, Guerreiro, Gotze
Tottenham vs Borussia Dortmund Prediction
I am going to go with a flyer on this one and say Tottenham do just enough to advance over Dortmund. Coming into this game, Tottenham are in fact the team in better form, and playing their first game at Wembley should prove a huge advantage considering Dortmund have just two away wins in their last 11 European matches. I like the fact that Tottenham have had several games without their go-to guys like Kane and Alli and have adjusted their tactics and rotated their lineups accordingly. Reus' absence for Dortmund should leave a void upfront and on such short notice, it should hinder Dortmund's ability to create chances. Give me Tottenham to advance at +120.
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