Christian Eriksen revealed that Tottenham would use Saturday’s defeat in the North London derby as extra motivation ahead of this evening’s Champions League group game against Borussia Dortmund. Victory would guarantee the north Londoners top spot in Group H – something that seemed unlikely when the draw first took place back in August.
Pochettino’s charges have had an incredible run in this season’s competition that has seen them deliver three wins and a draw. Dubbed the group of death, Spurs have expertly navigated their way through it with impressive home victories against tonight’s opponents and current holders Real Madrid – with whom they also earned a hard fought draw at the Bernabeu. Qualification is already secured; however, they could go one better tonight.
Winning the group would be massive for Tottenham – in terms of them getting a favourable draw in the last 16 of the tournament and the latest Champions League Betting odds are offering a generous 12/5 for Spurs to secure top spot come 9.45pm this evening.
The north Londoners go into the game against Dortmund with a pretty much fully fit squad with Pochettino revealing that Danny Rose is likely to return to the starting lineup after being controversially left out of the match day squad against Arsenal at the weekend. Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli have all been declared with the fit with the latter being warned to keep his temper in check – given he received an international ban following an altercation with tonight’s referee.
Dortmund on the other hand have had a disappointing season to say the least – with many believing they were guaranteed automatic qualification alongside Real Madrid when the draw was initially made. Having started the campaign strongly, defeat against Tottenham started a downward spiral that saw them drop down the Bundesliga table and perform poorly within the Champions League with defeat to tonight’s visitors, Real Madrid and two damaging draws against the perceived Group H whipping boys, Apoel Nicosia. They really need a win tonight themselves to ensure that they fall into the Europa League knock out stages at the very least – as they look to salvage some pride in what has been a poor European campaign.
Whether Tottenham Hotspur can achieve what was deemed impossible at the start of the campaign remains to be seen, but regardless if they top the group they can take great pride in their achievements so far in the competition. They have already exceeded expectations an victory against Dortmund will be the cherry on top of the cake.