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Champions League: Spurs want nothing but victory at Dortmund

March 05, 2019 10:07 IST

Tottenham Hotspur's Heung-Mim Son celebrates scoring. Spurs have a huge advantage over Dortmund, having won the first leg 3-0 at Wembley last month

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Heung-Mim Son celebrates scoring. Spurs have a huge advantage over Dortmund, having won the first leg 3-0 at Wembley last month. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur must forget their commanding 3-0 Champions League last 16 first-leg advantage over Borussia Dortmund and must play to beat the Germans again on Tuesday, coach, Mauricio Pochettino has said.

Spurs took their chances to build a big lead at Wembley last month but both sides have since struggled for form, with the Londoners having lost twice and drawn in the Premier League, while Bundesliga leaders Dortmund have drawn, won and lost.

 

Despite their first-leg advantage, Pochettino warned against complacency and said he wanted his team to play for another win, although they have had one day less to prepare than the Germans.

"We all agree that first of all we need to perform tomorrow. It is going to be tough, we need to forget the first leg, that must be our approach," he told a news conference on Monday.

"I think we need to play like always, try to win. We cannot think about the first leg. It's so important to start the game at a good level and be aggressive. That is key."

Spurs must wait to see if Eric Dier, who has not played since early February due to tonsillitis, and fellow England midfielder Harry Winks, recovering from a hip injury, will be fit to play after the pair travelled with the squad.

"We need to assess both. They are here because we still need one day more to assess if they can (play)," Pochettino said.

"Dier has been out for a while and may be on the bench. Winks we need to see tomorrow."

Pochettino also expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that Dortmund had an extra 24 hours to rest for the game after their 2-1 defeat at Augbsurg in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Spurs, who are third in the Premier League, were in action on Saturday when they drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal.

"It's strange for me that no one has said anything about that. The first leg was the same. It's impossible, how important is the game, that one team has 24 hours more to prepare. It's massive," he said.

"We need help from the (English) FA, we need help from the Premier League. I don’t know whose fault it is. I don’t know whether it is the FA, the Premier League, the club or the TV (who) wanted the matches to be on those days."

Ajax hope to capitalise on Ramos’s absence

Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag is hoping they can mount a Champions League comeback against Real Madrid by capitalising on Sergio Ramos’s absence through suspension for the holders.

Real captain Ramos got a yellow card at the end of their 2-1 win in the last 16, first leg in Amsterdam and is suspended for the return at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, plus an additional European match, after UEFA ruled he got booked deliberately.

Nacho Fernandez will likely take Ramos's place in the Madrid line-up alongside Raphael Varane at the heart of defence.

“It’s a huge blow for Real Madrid. (Luka) Modric and Toni Kroos are the bosses in the midfield but Ramos is a boss in defence and his absence from a physical and mental point of view will affect their team.” Ten Hag told reporters on Monday.

“Obviously they want to win a trophy this season and this is their last chance. Only in the Champions League can they win something and that will change their attitude on the pitch.

“Our players will be ambitious and they will fight to stay in all the competitions.”

Madrid were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Barcelona in midweek and after another defeat by the Catalans in la Liga on Saturday they are now 12 points off the pace set by the Catalans.

Santiago Solari's team know their last realistic chance of silverware this season is by winning the Champions League trophy for a record fourth consecutive season.

Dynamo Kiev's Sol out of Chelsea game with shoulder injury

Dynamo Kiev's Spanish striker Fran Sol has been ruled out of their Europa League last 16, first leg tie at Chelsea on Thursday due to a shoulder injury.

The 26-year-old came off in the first half against FC Desna in a Ukrainian top-flight game on Saturday after a challenge.

Sol said on Instagram that he will need surgery and local media estimated that he will be out for two months.

"The worst predictions are confirmed and I'll have to go through surgery for a shoulder injury ... I cannot be sadder after the beautiful moment I was living with Dynamo Kiev," he player posted on his official Instagram account.

Sol, who joined Kiev from Dutch side Willem II in January, helped the Ukrainian side get past Olympiakos Piraeus in the Europa League last 32 knockout round. After a 2-2 draw in Piraeus, Sol scored to secure a 1-0 win in the return.

The Kiev side are second in the Ukrainian Premier League, seven points behind Shakhtar Donetsk after 20 matches.

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