With Borussia Dortmund all but through to the Europa League quarter-finals following last week’s 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, manager Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for his counterpart, claiming that ‘success is coming’ for the North London side.
Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan will not feature for Dortmund in the second leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie, while defender Erik Durm is reportedly doubtful after picking up a slight injury against Mainz on Sunday.
As reported by ESPN, Thomas Tuchel lavished praise on Mauricio Pochettino ahead of their visit to White Hart Lane. He also admitted that the two clubs were in a similar position in their campaign at the moment. The Dortmund boss praised his opponent’s playing style and remarked that Spurs had found their own unique style under the Argentinian manager.
“There are some similar situations,” said Tuchel. “We are both second and five points behind. Of course, with Pochettino came a clear way to play, a clear attacking side with a lot of possession. A very aggressive style of defending, a lot of attacking in the opponents half, high defending.
“You have to find your own way in the league you play and in the cup games and of course in Europe. They have an excellent coach and squad. Success is coming.”
When asked about Pochettino’s decision to rest certain key players in the first leg of the tie, Tuchel claimed that every team has to rotate ‘several positions’ in order to compete in different tournaments.
“Who will know what the result would have been if other players had played?,” Tuchel questioned. “We do the same stuff in league games — we rotate several positions and who is to say if this is now a weaker squad or not the best choice for this game?”
Kagawa could start against the Spurs
With Erik Durm and Sven Bender out of the fixture, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and and Lukasz Piszczek are expected to feature in the Dortmund starting lineup alongside captain Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer. Julian Weigl is likely to take his position in front of the defence, while Shinji Kagawa could get the nod against Tottenham Hotspur.
Kagawa could start against Spurs
Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are expected to lead the Dortmund’s potent attack at White Hart Lane and will play a crucial role in determining the fate of the match. A single away goal could potentially end the tie for the English side.