After an exceptional performance in the group stages of last season’s Champions League, Tottenham entered this round of the competition with a sense that they could go a long way. They had a tough fixture against Juventus in the last 16, which looked all the tougher when the Serie A took an early 2-0 lead in the first leg, but away goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen meant that the home leg offered a real shot at qualification. As we saw, that shot disappeared in ten second-half minutes as Juventus won the second leg 2-1 – 4-3 on aggregate.
As Mauricio Pochettino’s side approach the same stage of the competition, their task looks, arguably, simpler. The opponent this time is Borussia Dortmund – currently top of the German Bundesliga, but less tested at this stage of the competition than Juve. This time, Spurs are at home first and, in short, they really need to be looking at this as a must-win game. It’s one they certainly can win, and our Bet of the Day looks at the ways they might achieve that. Read on to see what the bookmakers have to say about their chances.
Return Of The Prodigal Son Has Helped Tottenham
If South Korea had, as expected, gone all the way in the Asian Cup and won the tournament, their versatile forward Son Heung-Min would only just be back in action for Tottenham. Fortunately for Spurs, the Red Devils were knocked out early by surprise eventual winners Qatar. As a consequence, Son has been back in domestic colours for weeks – and he’s been making the most of the opportunities this has given him. Key goals in each of his last three appearances have helped the club to three consecutive wins.
Son is not the type of player to be perturbed by a big occasion, and a Champions League night at Wembley is exactly that kind of occasion. With boosted odds, Coral have him at 5/1 to score a goal in the first half here – and he’s demonstrated the ability to score goals aplenty in the absence of Harry Kane. He’s excellent value to bag again here, and will be one to watch from first to last whistle against Dortmund.
A Tale Of Two Thrilling Attacks
Both of these sides win no shortage of plaudits from football purists for doing things “the right way”. Spurs’ recent successes have been built on smart operating in the transfer market, finding hidden gems for low fees and building upon an existing system. Dortmund – as proven by Bayern Munich’s recent scouting approach of “just sign anyone who looks good from those chaps on the banks of the Ruhr” – have much the same eye for a player. So, for every Eric Dier or Dele Alli that Spurs acquire for a handful of change, Dortmund have a Jadon Sancho or a Christian Pulisic.
This has led to both sides honing sides that play flowing football, where every player on the team knows innately where his teammates will be, and it makes for what should be a thrilling match. Though we’d expect Spurs to emerge with a victory tonight – the two-legged tie is more finely-balanced – we’d also expect Dortmund to give a good account of themselves in attack. With Sancho having made a stunning impact at such a young age, and plenty of support, they’re always a threat on the break. We therefore think that Betway’s 3/1 on a Spurs win with both teams scoring makes for an excellent Bet of the Day.
Advantage Spurs After 90 Minutes
To actually make the quarter finals, Spurs will need to go to Signal Iduna Park and finish the job they must start here. Dortmund haven’t been beaten at home all season under Swiss coach Lucien Favre, so that will be tough. However, for the first leg, we would consider Spurs to be deserving favourites. They’re at home, in excellent form, and up against a side that has a patchy record in this competition. This version of die Schwarzengelben is a tougher one than last season’s vintage, but we’d certainly be backing Spurs to take the first-leg advantage.
As a sign of how tightly-balanced this game is, Spurs are favourites but not odds-on with most bookmakers to get the win. Our pick of the available bets is with 888, who have the London side at 57/50 to win this game. Spurs have already seen off PSV and Inter Milan at Wembley this season, and we’re confident of them making it three in a row. Be aware, though, that when it comes to who the bookies see qualifying for the next round, most bookies think Dortmund will edge it over the two legs – so be cautious when backing Spurs and don’t expect it to be a thrashing.
Bets of the Day
: Spurs to win and BTTS (Betway, 3/1); Spurs win in 90 minutes (888, 57/50); Son to score in first half (Coral, 5/1)