It's hard to make a case for Dortmund or Tottenham
But goals expected to flow in lively European encounter
Champions League Group H
BT Sport 3, 7.45pm Tuesday
Borussia Dortmund are a club in crisis with players and fans seemingly counting down the days until unpopular coach Peter Bosz gets the axe and the Bundesliga powerhouses are hard to fancy at home to Tottenham.
The German press have been scathing about a Dortmund side who are without a win in seven in the Bundesliga and Champions League and are, to all intents and purposes, playing for a Europa League place against Spurs.
The problem for Bosz is that key players are missing and his team selections and tactics are forever being questioned. He’s fallen out with his star striker and there’s the small matter of the Ruhr Derby at the weekend against a Schalke side who are now above them in the table.
Spurs lost at Arsenal on Saturday but the questions being fired at Mauricio Pochettino during their post-mortem don’t even begin to compare with the grenades being chucked at Bosz ahead of his first big derby dust-up.
Grounds for supporting Dortmund are scarce.
The most compelling – and it isn’t home advantage given they were held to a 1-1 draw by group lightweights Apoel Nicosia – is that Tottenham, having already qualified, could well rest key players, and with that in mind, a lumpy punt on the Premier League side doesn’t look altogether appetising, either.
You can avoid making a judgement on the match itself by having a bet on goals instead, and chucking a dart at both teams to score and over 2.5 goals.
Dortmund’s league matches this season average 3.75 goals while their Champions League games average three. Both teams have scored in 11 of Dortmund’s previous 12, including all of their four Group H clashes, the first of which was a 3-1 loss at Wembley in September.
They used to be defensive masters but they’ve shipped 14 in their last five league matches, their worst record in 26 years.
Sokratis, their one decent centre-back, is injured, so too is right-back Lukas Piszczek. Left-back is a weakness, as is keeper Roman Burki.
Whoever Pochettino fields in attack, there will be chances, though the same goes at the other end.
Dortmund lost 2-1 at Stuttgart on Friday night despite having nine efforts on goal in the first half alone.
They could have been out of sight, missed a penalty, and all that was minus Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was omitted for disciplinary reasons. Bosz has to recall him and if there’s a point when Aubameyang, Mario Gotze and fit-again Andre Schurrle are working together, they’ll be really potent.
Dortmund have scored in 13 of their last 14 Champions League ties while Tottenham have bagged ten goals in their four matches this term, including the 3-1 win against the Germans first time round.
Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals
2pts 17-20 Coral
Centre-back Sokratis (rib) is unlikely to be fit while Christian Pulisic is a doubt. Lukasz Pizsczek, Erik Durm, Marco Reus and Sebastian Rode are long-term absentees.
Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama are injured, Erik Lamela ineligible.
Both teams have scored in 11 of Dortmund’s previous 12 matches.
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