In one of the big-ticket fixtures in the UEFA Champions League, Tottenham will host the Bundesliga table-toppers Borussia Dortmund. Taking the form of both teams and injuries into consideration, this can prove to be one of the most open ties in the round.
Dortmund will have to make do without the services of Marco Reus, whereas Spurs will be without Harry Kane in this crucial tie. The Englishman has arguably been the best player for the London-based club and his injury comes as a huge blow to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
In the absence of Kane, Spurs have managed to win all four games in the league, but were eliminated from the League Cup and the FA Cup. While their league record is promising, elimination from the knockout competitions is not a great sign for Spurs.
Fortunately for Spurs, Heung-Min Son has peaked at the right time to fill the void left by Kane. The South Korean has had a great season so far, netting 11 goals and providing five times in the Premier League. The winger will have to assume a majority of the goal-scoring burden against Dortmund. His ability to create havoc in the wing and finish off straightforward chances is absolutely needed in this key tie.
Lucas Moura will be another player who will be burdened with the goalscoring responsibilities.
Moura will add some pace and width to the Spurs team and his eye for goal will be extremely helpful even though he’s not a like-for-like Kane replacement.
The Englishman’s natural replacement at the number nine position, Fernando Llorente, is not guaranteed a starter’s role but the Spaniard will definitely have a crucial role to play as an attacking substitute. There are no fixed starters in a two-legged tie and Llorente must be prepared with his scoring boots when called upon.
One particular player can’t replace the best player in any team and the entire team has to step up. Christian Eriksen and Harry Winks will have to ensure that Spurs win the midfield battle and relieve Son and Moura of their defensive duties.
Clearly, Kane’s absence is not as devastating as it’s made to be. The forwards have all stepped up at the right time to lay a promising claim to the fact that they can get the job done without them.
After two windows without any transfers and the absence of Dele Alli and Kane, Spurs are still maintaining the pressure on City and Liverpool in the league. Huge credit must be given to Pochettino for this. The Spurs boss can be relied upon to guide the way for the London-based club.