Spurs should be able to make life difficult for Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa tie.
Dortmund eased past Porto 3-0 on aggregate in the last-32 stage in what should have been a testing tie and they enter the last-16 stage as strong 4/1 favourites to lift the trophy. Spurs, meanwhile, had to work a bit harder against Fiorentina as they drew the first leg 1-1 but won convincingly 3-0 in the return at White Hart Lane. Both these teams are second in their domestic leagues and trailing by five points so it’ll be interesting to see what teams Tuchel and Pochettino pick in this one.
Dortmund’s European home record since 2012/13 is W16-D1-L4, with the majority of these matches of course in the Champions League, while one of those defeats came in the final game of the group stages of the Europa League this season when Tuchel picked a weakened team as qualification was already secured. We have Spurs ranked as the 24th best side in Europe and Dortmund’s record against sides ranked between 14th and 34th since 2010/11 is W4-D0-L3, with the defeats coming against Zenit, Marseille and Sevilla, back in 2010/11.
Spurs’ Europa League away record since 2012/13 is W5-D9-L5 with their wins coming over Anzhi, Sheriff, Tromso, Asteras Tripoli and Qarabag. They haven’t scored more than twice in any of these road matches and 14 of the 19 had fewer than three goals, but they’ve been beaten by more than one goal just twice and both those were in second legs when teams inevitably had to chase the game more. We have Dortmund ranked 13th in Europe and Spurs have only travelled to three sides ranked between 8th and 18th since 2010/11, drawing at Werder Bremen and Benfica and beating AC Milan at the San Siro. In the league this season, Spurs have travelled to each of their fellow top-four sides, winning 2-1 at Man City and picking up a pair of 1-1 draws at the Emirates and King Power Stadium, proving how difficult they’ve become to beat. In their European knockout matches since 2012/13 they’ve gone W2-D3-L2 in first legs while they’ve drawn four of the seven away matches in these ties across either leg.
The first leg of Europa League Last 16 matches have been won by the home side 49% of the time in the past 11 seasons but just 24% have been won by more than one goal. 65% of these 88 first legs have had fewer than three goals compared to just 44% in the return legs. Interestingly, in the 41 first legs where we had the home side as the higher ranked club their win rate actually falls to 46%.
Dortmund are in imperious form in the Bundesliga having conceded just one goal in their last seven and their record at the Westfalenstadion this term, where they kept Bayern to a goalless draw at the weekend, is W10-D2-L0. However, this ever-improving Spurs outfit should be able to make life difficult for them and we could see a relatively cautious opening leg with both Spurs +1 on the Asian Handicap and Under 2.5 Goals at odds-against decent looking bets.
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