Date: 12th September 2017 at 8:39am
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Oyveh Maria says, ‘It`s D-Day (Dortmund Day) at Wembley! Can we dig in and grind out a result?’

We are playing European home games at Wembley again and, having won only once in four European matches at our temporary home in 2016/17, this time we can`t afford to lose. Given the Dynamics of the group Real Madrid will be seen as a banker to get out of the Group Stage leaving only one place up for grabs to make the knock out stages. We took just three points from our three group home games in 2016/17, losing to Monaco (1-2) and Bayer Leverkusen (0-1) before a 3-1 win against CSKA Moskva. We were then held 2-2 by Gent in the UEFA Europa League. We have won only one of our last five European “home” fixtures. How does Poch get us out of this mind set?

Dortmund are top of the Bundesliga and have had some changes since last season, they go into this season with a new manager, Peter Bosz, who has shown he can put all Dortmund`s talent in positions to succeed, they have two wins from their first three Bundesliga matches, even if they have lost their star man Ousmane Dembele. In those three matches they`ve scored five goals and are yet to concede. At the start of their season they drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich in the German Supercup, won 0-3 away to Wolfsburg and then won 2-0 at home to Hertha Berlin but struggled to 0-0 away at Freiburg, despite Freiburg being down to 10 men. Dortmund are difficult to score against but they are carrying some injuries; Dortmund have seven injury problems ahead of the game. Five players have already been confirmed out of our Champions League game. Manager Petr Bosz is without Marco Reus (ankle ligament), Raphael Guerreiro (ankle), Andre Schürrle (muscular), Erik Durm (hip) and Sebastian Rode (ankle) and Marcel Schmelzer is definitely out. Their CB, Marc Batra, is also struggling. What we must not do is go into this game with the fear of losing. Dortmund maybe without Dembele, but they still have Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang who has managed six goals in his opening 5 games across all competitions this season, Julian Weigl, Papastathopoulos, and Christian Pulisic, the 18 year-old American, has talent and will give Davies problems.

Dortmund have become used to participating in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds but they know with holders Real Madrid also in the Group they will need to get an away result against us. In Previous meetings Dortmund beat us when we met them in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 16, winning both legs 5-1 on aggregate. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus (2) got the goals in Dortmund before Aubameyang struck twice more at White Hart Lane, Son scored the consolation. Have we stepped up a class since then? Are we a bit more savvy regarding how to play teams like Dortmund? When we lost 5-1 to Dortmund the team we put out was Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies (Rose 13), Dier, Mason, Chadli, Alli (Carroll 70), Lamela (Onomah 74), Son. So you have to say, on paper, Poch has a better side than he had in season 2015/16. We don`t have Delle Alli for the next 3 CL games so who does Poch put in his place, Son? Or, drop Harry in behind Fernando Llorente? Will Poch play 3 at the back and rely on the speed of Aurier and Sánchez to get back if we play a high line? Was Dembele rested for Wednesday or will Sissoko start? Did Trippier going the distance on Saturday mean we can expect Poch to give Aurier a start?

Dortmund are in the group stage for the 12th time and a sixth in seven years, they have reached the knockout stage on their last four UEFA Champions League appearances. In 2016/17 they beat 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), but their run ended in their next three on the road, including defeats in the last two. Davinson Sánchez played under new Dortmund coach Peter Bosz at AFC Ajax in 2016/17. Son scored five times in his five matches against Dortmund with Hamburger SV and Leverkusen. Dortmund`s stats for the opening of this season read; Goals per game 2.5 Avg. Possession 63%, pass accuracy 82.5%, shots per game 15.5, tackles per game 21, dribbles per game 7.5. They are at their strongest attacking down the wing, but, stopping opponents creating chances is their Achilles heel. In fact, they are strong in every department, especially in finishing and protecting a lead. Their style of play is to keep the ball until they create some space as their good at spotting an opening.

This is going to be tactical battle for Poch, he has to make sure we high press them. Dortmund like to be on the ball they don`t like being pressed off the ball. This could be a lung busting game for Spurs and the concentration levels will have to be at their utmost. Whatever happens we must not let them score and us go behind because they are good at protecting a lead and we need a positive start to get the massive crowd going. Let`s hope we can turn it on this time!


54 Replies to “It`s D-Day (Dortmund Day) at Wembley”

  • Later in the competition it will get harder for English clubs as our tougher season begins to take its toll. At the moment its about whether you can adapt your game to playing a European team with a different style of football. So far we haven’t been able to do that. In fact even in the premier league we struggle if we can’t impose our own style on the game, luckily it doesn’t happen that often. We’ll see if we have learnt anything from last season. I just hope if we don’t get through we finish last and avoid the Europa.

  • As Oy Veh says…Poch will probably drop Harry into Ali’s position Llorente as CF. RB is Aurier back 3 as at Everton, Moussa and Dier DFM… Eriksen, Sissoko leaves one place poch decision… Son off the bench 60 – 70 mins. give us some speed in attack. We do need to get the crosses in and score the goals. So it’s time for our players to show they are professional and determined to start winning at Wembley.. not moaning its the club’s fault. Mr Levy time to pay Toby his new contract, why are you messing about when you have upgraded Harry.. Dele etc. ?? COYS

  • We are in the group of death & few pundits expect us to get through.That could work in our favour ,to be underdogs we will work our socks off & the crowd will spur us on.I hope.

  • Block, you playing Sissoko over Davies? I would agree with the rest. Lloris, Toby, Jan, Sanchez, Aurier (although Trips crosses would suit Llorente), Davies; Dier, Dembele; Eriksen, Kane, Llorente.

  • Having been beaten 5-1 over two legs by BD, the last time spurs played them in Europe i am hopping for a win but think it will be a draw at best. CL is a different level from the EPL and i am yet to be convinced that MP is tactically ready at cup level let alone CL level. It is a learning curve and MP is still learning it is no disgrace when not succeeding at CL level as it is very competitive lots of teams have tried for years and can’t win a CL title. I am hoping Mp can get the team to the last 8.

  • Same team as Saturday for me, this is a very important game if we to get out of this group, we really need to win this one. Just hope we have found a way to play in Europe, as we’ve been pretty poor under Poch in Europe so far compared to how we perform in the league.

  • CoysRus No Im saying basically the same team as sat. less Aurier. . sorry if not clear. Sissoko deserves another start to see if he can maintain and improve, as I thought he was quite good in AMF, just needs to get better on finishing chances and understanding how Eriksson Harry etc. play.

  • Our europe games have been a disaster for last 5 years…. It’s time to stop the rot, and move forward. Poch has had 3 years as manager in europe games with us, so i expect him to show he has learned what to do in these games… tactical…. game plans A B and C… As i said before the players need to step up their efforts as well.

  • Block D Spurs – Its not really about tactical plans. Bob Paisley summed it up a long time ago when he was changing the way Liverpool had played under Shankly to make them more competitive in Europe. He simply said that when you’ve got the ball don’t give it away because they won’t give it back. That hasn’t really changed over all the years since.

  • to be fair there is probably never been a better time to play Dortmund as they are missing some key players especially in defense. As a result I expect them to sit in and give us 2/3rds of the pitch to play with. I don’t expect them to take the game to us but rather try and get us on the counter. That may mean that Sissoko and Llorente could be useful weapons especially if we can get an aerial battle going in their box. It depends if Aurier is playing and how good a service he can provide and whether Davies will get the kind of room he was afforded by Everton on Saturday. If they sit in we will definitely have to get in behind them especially as we wont have the link up play between Alli and Eriksen and Kane to rely on. We have enough big men up front to cause them problems in the air if we can get the service in. I hope Aurier gets a start I just want to see how fast he is and, more importantly, how accurately he can deliver. Moussa may not start, his foot injury is still causing problems and with Wanyama still out it may be time to play the heavy horses down the middle and have Dier at the base of the spine with Sissoko Kane and Llorente up the middle with Eriksen playing the floating voter!

  • Ossie, there’s always the 1st time! United hadn’t conceded a goal in teh PL until, of all the teams, they played Stoke! What a way to set the tone if we beat them, remove the Wembley and CL hoodoo. The lads should be confident after last Saturday. Dele will be missed, but gives him time to simmer and reconsider his temperament as FIFA still looking in to the middle finger gesture.

    As for the team, yes, same as Saturday, exceptions being, I’d like to see Llorente to replace Dele thus moving Kane deeper and Aurier for Tripp. COYS! 3-0 Spurs!

  • Same team as Saturday except Aurier for Tripps and Dembele for Alli. I hope Sissoko can build on his performance and think his pace and power will be useful if Dortmund defend deep. It will be interesting to see how Sanchez copes with Aubamyang who is a very good striker and scored easily against us last time we played them.

  • Have to play possession football tonight and be touch tight to them before they can get into our box. Wanyama would have been perfect for this type of game stronger than Dier will be, Dier has a blind spot sometimes where he does a square ball or a back pass that gets intercepted by the opposition. It only takes one lapse of concentration to undo all the good work that is happening up front. If you look at us as a team how many really are at the Champions League level or standard? Difficult one to answer, if you compare it to the team of last season not much by way of personnel has changed and we came up very short last season so it has to be be the way we play in the CL this season that has to change. A single bad match can destroy an entire campaign. If I quote the only man in the modern game to have played under four Champions League-winning managers, Xabi Alonso, was asked by old teammate Jamie Carragher what was so distinctive about each of them. The Bayern Munich midfielder, who can now add Pep Guardiola to a list of former bosses that includes Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez, actually pointed to one shared quality. “[They’re] comfortable playing with three systems. [Teams] need to adapt to each game, depending on the circumstances,” said Alonso. And its that level of Savvy I hope Poch has got this time around. Going into the knock out stages has to be the first target and our style of play has to be geared toward that, once in the knock out then its a different mindset, a different approach, we need to show more tactical nous. Against Barca, Mourinho’s Inter unleashed the ultimate counterattacking game in the first leg, which allowed his team to deploy the ultimate defensive game in the second. When you look at the list of Champions League winners since the 1999 expansion, there’s a distinctive and defined split. Eight of the champions were also domestic champions those seasons; the other six are a series of teams who finished third or lower and well outside the title race. There’s surprisingly no in-between, no second-place domestic finishes. It’s almost as if a team has to be good enough to persevere on multiple fronts, or, in short, limited enough to mean they can save all their energies for European games. Can we win the trophy? probably not! can we get to the semi’s ? going to be a big ask! can we get to the quarters? that has to be our aim! We’ll learn a lot if we can get that far but we have to finish in the top four this season otherwise it will all have been a waste of time building on that experience if we cant use it again next season in our new stadium. Good luck tonight lads!

  • Dembele picked up a knock at Everton in his 20 minute stint and may not be fully fit to make the start! Apparently!

  • Whatever happens, at least I get to watch this one live …. even if is at 2:30am. That’s better than waiting a day for the delayed viewing of PL games. I’m sure Poch and the lads know just what they need to do and they’ll be up for this.

  • With Dele out, Son has to start for me. Also makes sense to start Aurier given his CL experience. Llorente can come on as super sub later in the game.

  • We all seem agreed on team selection for tonight… I hope poch has his tactical Plans A B C as OyVeh mentioned is necessary in CL. I would say its necessary in PL as well !. Better not be heavy rain again tonight.. don’t fancy getting soaked queuing up for wembley park station after the game.

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