Champing at the bit for the Champions League? Bonkers for a bit of Borussia? Feeling the Serge for a bit of Aurier? Then Welcome To The Westfalen Dome, as Frankie (Saul) never said.
Tired and frazzled we’re in Germany tonight defending that three-goal lead earned by a vintage Vertonghen performance at Wembley nearly three weeks ago. A three goal lead you say? A three- goal lead? We’ll be fine. Now picture Mario Goetze tucking one under Hugo’s body in the eighth minute. Is that your sphincter muscle twitching?
A potentially nerve-wracking evening could pivot on the health and form of the two Harrys? Kane is back and has played all ninety minutes of three games in a week after two months out, which isn’t right surely but that’s the state we’re in. So much depends on the form of Harry, the amount of goals he can score, the number of Spurs players he can carry on his shoulder, not just for today, but until the end of May.
But not the centre of midfield, that belongs to the other injury prone Harry, Winks. Sorely missed on Saturday, when Rose ended up filling in the middle when we ran out of players, Winks was outstanding in the first leg and will be a key factor, should he play, as we try and set the tempo and disrupt the German rhythm tonight.
So much of the game is likely to be about seeing out the tie, taking our time (difficult in the multiball Moneybags League environment), and generally playing in as risk-free way as it’s possible for this team to do.
They’ve not been in the best of form – one win in their last seven games – as exemplified by their 2-1 loss at struggling Augsburg at the weekend. Bayern are now level with them at the top of the Bundesliga. The rewards are big though, reaching the last eight would be a notable achievement for either side. We can expect a full house, probably with about thirty thousand drummers, all aware that an early goal from the home side could lead to a memorable night. They beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 at home in the group stages.
Pulisic is out, Reus, Weigl and Alcacer are back.
A single goal from Harry, Son or Eriksen would mean that Dortmund need five and given how vulnerable we’ve been looking of late, we might need it. Having said that, a positive but cautious approach, combined with cool heads and composure in their half and we’ll be fine.
The officials are from the Netherlands.
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