Champions League

'Heroes' Dortmund out to challenge Spurs

2017-09-12 18:38
Borussia Dortmund celebrate (AFP)

Berlin - Borussia Dortmund set out for Wednesday's Champions League tie against Tottenham Hotspur in London hoping their stars will become "heroes" in a group containing titleholders Real Madrid.

"This is the hardest group, but also challenging, and in such groups, heroes are made," said managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke on Tuesday.

Dortmund, Spurs, and Real are joined by Cyprus side APOEL in Group H with Borussia hosting Spanish giants Madrid on September 26.

The Germans have a proud Champions League history, reaching the quarter-finals twice in the last four seasons.

However they were held to a goalless draw at 10-man Freiburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday when their attack, boasting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and US wunderkind Christian Pulisic, failed to fire.

The Bundesliga leaders have a score to settle at Wembley, Spurs' adopted home stadium, where the Germans lost the 2013 Champions League final to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.

"It's a huge challenge, but I see us as being on the same level as Tottenham," said director of sport Michael Zorc.

The Champions League still holds a few ghosts for the German club after the dark days of April 11 when a bomb attack on the team bus left defender Marc Bartra needing surgery after three blasts tore into the vehicle.

Bartra will miss the match against Spurs with a groin injury while captain Marcel Schmelzer will miss the next seven weeks after tearing ankle ligaments in the draw at Freiburg.

With Schmelzer out, Germany's Under-21 international Jeremy Toljan is set to take his place at left-back while new-signing Andriy Yarmolenko could make his first start after coming off the bench in Freiburg.

The Germans beat Spurs 3-0 at home and 2-1 away when the teams met in the group stages of the Europa League in 2015/16 as Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino rested many of his first-choice players for the Premier League.

"The current match is not comparable to the games at that time," said Zorc, while Dortmund coach Peter Bosz expects "a very strong opponent" in London.

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Spartak Moskva v Maribor, Otkrytiye Arena 19:00
Besiktas v Porto, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Sevilla v Liverpool, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Manchester City v Feyenoord, Etihad Stadium 21:45
APOEL v Real Madrid, Neo GSP 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Monaco v RB Leipzig, Stade Louis II. 21:45
Napoli v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Qarabag v Chelsea, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 19:00
CSKA Moskva v Benfica, VEB Arena 19:00
Juventus v Barcelona, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Sporting CP v Olympiakos Piraeus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Roma, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
PSG v Celtic, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v Manchester United, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Anderlecht v Bayern Munchen, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 21:45
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Bayern Munchen v PSG, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Sporting CP, Camp Nou 21:45
Celtic v Anderlecht, Celtic Park 21:45
Benfica v Basel, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moskva, Old Trafford 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Juventus, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Qarabag, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Liverpool v Spartak Moskva, Anfield 21:45
Porto v Monaco, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Maribor v Sevilla, Ljudski vrt 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
RB Leipzig v Besiktas, Red Bull Arena 21:45
Feyenoord v Napoli, Stadion Feijenoord 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v APOEL, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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