Borussia Dortmund match 'like a final' for Tottenham, says Mauricio Pochettino

Posted September 13, 2017

With Real Madrid, the two-time defending champions, and Apoel Nicosia, the Cypriot minnows, making up group H, Dortmund are widely expected to be Tottenham's most direct competitors for qualification.

Borussia Dortmund will be without Marc Bartra for their Champions League match against Tottenham.

"It's true that in theory Real Madrid first, then Dortmund, Tottenham and Apoel to compete to be second". It will be tough because Dortmund is a great, great team, but our mentality is to try to win and be aggressive from the first ball.

Pochettino's team will also be looking to overcome their poor start to their life at Wembley having won just once in five games since they adopted the national stadium at the beginning of last season's Champions League - where they gained their only victory so far.

Tottenham's biggest problem in last season's Champions League - and at Wembley in general - has been a failure to convert their chances, as Pochettino admitted again on Tuesday.

"It is so important, to start well in the competition and get the three points". Previously we played in the Europa League, for 98 or 99 percent of the players, and for myself too.

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Which is to say, expect Rafa to reign supreme once again in New York City, for the first time since 2013. In the bigger picture, the gap between Nadal and Anderson is nothing if not astounding.

Pochettino hopes Tottenham's players can block out all talk of a Wembley curse and show they have learnt from last year's harsh Champions League lessons.

Dele Alli will be missing for the hosts as he continues to serve his three-match ban in Europe.

"I saw Spurs' win over Everton at the weekend and he was fantastic in midfield, creating chances and dictating play".

He said: "Last year we got off to a bad start, which didn't help us". "It will definitely give us confidence if we go out and get results against teams like Dortmund".

"We were very focused on trying to win the Premier League and fighting with (eventual champions) Leicester".