Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a tough test in the next round of the Europa League as they have been drawn against Borussia Dortmund. The German club’s manager, Thomas Tuchel, looking forward to facing Spurs and calls Mauricio Pochettino a ‘special manager’.
He said: “I think it’s a super draw. It’s super tough, but also super attractive. We’ve got two exciting games to look forward to and I’m personally really looking forward to meeting a special coach and also the special atmosphere in the second leg at White Hart Lane.”
Spurs, who won the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984 overcame Serie A outfit Fiorentina over two legs in the round-of-32, claiming a 4-1 victory over the two legs. Pochettino will be without Dele Alli for the first leg, as the English international is suspended after receiving a yellow card for diving in the second leg against La Viola.
Borussia Dortmund are clearly one of the toughest opponents Spurs could have been handed. The German giants are second currently in the Bundesliga and have reached semi-finals of DBF Pokal. Tuchel’s side are focused on winning the Europa League, as there is eight points difference between them and leaders Bayern Munich.
BVB’s attacking line is a scary prospect, as they have netted 57-times this season in just 23 matches – eight more than Spurs in Premier League over 27 matches. The Germans are winning 56.27% of aerial duels and 51.27% of total duels, via Squawka. While Poch’s side win 47.88% of aerial and 48.11% of total duels. Also Borussia enjoys 84% of passing accuracy, three percent more than Spurs.
The White Hart Lane club will travel to Dortmund for the first leg on Thursday, March 10 with the return match a week later in London. The meeting sees two of the favourites go toe-to-toe as well as two of Europe’s most exciting coaches facing off. Whether Spurs go through or not, it should prove to be a fantastic tie.
Europa League round of 16 draw
Shakhtar Donetsk v Anderlecht
Basel v Sevilla
Villarreal v Bayer Leverkusen
Athletic Bilbao v Valencia
Liverpool v Manchester United
Sparta Prague v Lazio
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham
Fenerbahce v Braga