Tuchel expects tough Europa test from Tottenham


Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Tuchel expects a battle royal between two of Germany and England’s best teams in Thursday’s Europa League last 16, first-leg, tie at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

“They are a hard-working, highly defensive team, who have earned their place for many years as one of the best sides in their league. We’ll be tested at the highest level,” said Tuchel in a press conference.

Dortmund host Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs at the Signal Iduna Park in one of the plum ties of the round.

Borussia are second only to Bayern Munich in Germany, while Tottenham are vying with Leicester City, Arsenal and Manchester City for the Premier League title in England.

“The tempo in England has gone up again this season. It will be fast, it will be intensive,” added Tuchel ahead of the sold-out clash.

“We are looking forward to this match because of the tradition both clubs have.”

Dortmund have turned their stadium into something of a fortress this season in both the Bundesliga and Europe with 15 wins, two draws and a single defeat.

Their attacking trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus have scored 67 goals between them this season in all competitions.

They will be up against the English league’s toughest defence, which has leaked only 24 goals this season.

Dortmund’s veteran goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller is tasked with containing the Spurs attack and ensuring the likes of Erik Lamela or Harry Kane do not grab a key away goal ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane a week later on March 17.