No Dele Alli, but Tottenham Hotspur must seize Borussia Dortmund chance in Champions League Group H
PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 September 2017
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Spurs go into clash with Bundesliga leaders with plenty of confidence and Peter Bosz is without several key first-teamers for clash at Wembley
After an excellent win over Everton on Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur and Mauricio Pochettino are preparing for their opening match in the Champions League group stages when Borussia Dortmund visit on Wednesday night, but they will be without a key member of their squad.
Dele Alli’s red card at home to Gent in the Europa League in February for a reckless tackle on Brecht Dejaegere will see him serve a three-match ban in Europe.
The talented England international will therefore be watching from the sidelines tomorrow, as Tottenham take on Dortmund.
Alli will miss the clash with the German outfit as well as the visit to Apoel Nicosia on September 26 and the trip to the Bernabeu to face holders Real Madrid on October 17.
Spurs will no doubt miss the ex-MK Dons playmaker, especially with him starting to rediscover his fine form of last season.
Alli played his part in Tottenham’s second goal, courtesy of Christian Eriksen, at Everton on Saturday.
He also netted during the 1-1 draw at Burnley on August 27 and the 2-0 victory away to Newcastle United on the opening day of the campaign.
Without Alli, the onus will be on the likes of Harry Kane, Eriksen, Heung-min Son and potentially Moussa Sissoko to step up in his absence.
Tottenham will be looking to register their first home win of the season tomorrow after losing to Chelsea and drawing with Burnley so far.
After the 1-1 draw with the Clarets, Pochettino was keen to stress the importance of remaining alert for the whole duration of the match.
With Dortmund among the best sides in Europe, Spurs will need to be focused if they are to register a victory under the arch and start their Champions League campaign with a bang.
Pochettino said: “Of course we need to make Wembley our home and feel that we can perform the same way we did last season at White Hart Lane.
“But if you remember my first year at Tottenham it was difficult at home and then the team started to feel comfortable.
“Eventually it was a comfortable place for us and it is only a matter of time before we find a way to feel much better, although it isn’t about trying to feel better.
“Wembley wasn’t a problem against Burnley - we played well and in the second half we created a lot of chances.
“It was the same when we played Chelsea and we were much better than them, but I think we need to find the balance.
“Still the team is showing in some periods of the game that we’re lacking concentration in different situations.
“In football you know you pay when you are not focused in 95 or 100 minutes until you finish the game, so that is the key to improve individually and collectively.”
Following Saturday’s win, Tottenham head into their encounter full of confidence and out to end their poor start at Wembley.
Peter Bosz’ team come into the match off the back of a goalless draw at Freiburg last weekend, but they are still top of the Bundesliga with seven points from a possible nine.
The Black and Yellow will be without several first-teamers, however, with Marcel Schmelzer, Marc Bartra, Andre Schurrle, Erik Durm, Sebastian Rode, Raphael Guerreiro and Marco Reus unlikely to feature tomorrow due to either short-term or long-term injuries.
The aforementioned news is sure to boost Spurs and they do appear to have a brilliant chance to claim a big win at Wembley, but it will not be easy and they’ll need to stay switched on. Can they do it? Let’s find out tomorrow!