Tottenham need home improvement for Dortmund visit
Tottenham Hotspur FC aim to belatedly find their feet at Wembley as they kick off another UEFA Champions League campaign at home to Borussia Dortmund.
• With White Hart Lane being redeveloped, Tottenham are playing European home games at Wembley for the second season in a row – and having won only once in four European matches at their temporary home in 2016/17, they can ill afford a repeat.
• Dortmund have become used to participating in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds but with holders Real Madrid CF also in Group H, they will recognise the importance of a positive result in north London.
• Dortmund held sway when these sides met in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 16, winning both legs for a 5-1 aggregate triumph. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus (2) got the goals in a 3-0 first-leg victory in Dortmund before Aubameyang struck twice more at White Hart Lane, Son Heung-Min scoring a consolation for the hosts.
The line-ups at White Hart Lane on 17 March 2016 were:
Tottenham: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies (Rose 13), Dier, Mason, Chadli, Alli (Carroll 70), Lamela (Onomah 74), Son.
Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Piszczek, Subotić, Papastathopoulos (Durm 54), Schmelzer, Castro, Ginter, Weigl, Mkhitaryan (Kagawa 72), Reus (Pulišić 60), Aubameyang.
• This is Tottenham’s third time in the group stage and a second foray in as many seasons – the first time in their history they have managed consecutive European Cup campaigns.
• In 2010/11, their UEFA Champions League debut, Tottenham went all the way to the quarter-finals, losing 5-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid. Twelve months ago they came third in their group and moved into the UEFA Europa League, where they fell 3-2 on aggregate to KAA Gent in the round of 32.
• Tottenham took just three points from their three group home games in 2016/17, losing to AS Monaco FC (1-2) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (0-1) before a 3-1 win against PFC CSKA Moskva on matchday six. They were held 2-2 by Gent in the UEFA Europa League and have won only one of their last five European home fixtures.
• Tottenham were unbeaten at home to Bundesliga clubs (W6 D1) before succumbing to Dortmund in 2016; the Leverkusen reverse means they have now lost their last two such matches.
• Mauricio Pochettino’s side – 2016/17 Premier League runners-up – were held 0-0 in Leverkusen last term.
• Dortmund, contesting the group stage for the 12th time and a sixth in seven years, have reached the knockout stage on their last four UEFA Champions League appearances. In 2016/17 they beat SL Benfica 4-1 on aggregate in the round of 16, subsequently losing 6-3 to Monaco over two legs (2-3 home, 1-3 away).
• On matchday one 12 months ago Dortmund triumphed 6-0 at Legia Warszawa – their biggest-ever European away success. They also won their next away game, at Sporting Clube de Portugal (2-1), before victory eluded them in their next three on the road, including defeats in the last two.
• Dortmund have been paired with Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal FC in the group stage on four occasions; they lost three of those away matches but won 2-1 at the Arsenal Stadium on 22 October 2013.
• On Dortmund’s last trip to England they let slip 2-0 and 3-1 leads to lose 4-3 at Liverpool FC in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg, going out 5-4 on aggregate. Their record in England is now W4 D1 L6.
Coach and player links
• Davinson Sánchez played under new Dortmund coach Peter Bosz at AFC Ajax in 2016/17.
• Ömer Toprak, Gonzalo Castro and Heung-Min Son were team-mates at Leverkusen between 2013 and 2015.
• Have played in England:
Nuri Şahin (Liverpool FC, 2012/13)
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United FC, 2012–14)
André Schürrle (Chelsea FC, 2013–15)
• Reus and Mario Götze each scored in Dortmund’s 4-1 victory away to an Ajax side featuring Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen in the 2012/13 group stage.
• Kagawa and Jan Vertonghen both struck in Manchester United’s 3-2 Premier League loss at home to Tottenham in September 2012.
• Harry Kane and Eric Dier found the net in England’s 3-2 friendly win against Germany in March 2016; Götze, Reus and Schürrle played for Germany.
• Eriksen got Denmark’s goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with Germany in June 2017.
• Son scored five times in his five matches against Dortmund with Hamburger SV and Leverkusen.
• These clubs have two former players in common: midfielder Steffen Freund went to White Hart Lane from Dortmund in 1998; defender Lee Young-Pyo left Spurs for Dortmund in 2008.