Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund

13 September, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Harry Kane and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang

Mauricio Pochettino has warned his Tottenham Hotspur stars that they must make a fast start to their Champions League campaign or risk another early exit.

Pochettino, whose Tottenham side crashed out of the competition at the group stage in 2016-17, also believes that an obsession with winning the Premier League is to blame for holding English teams back.

Particularly with Dortmund's current injury issues, Pochettino should snatch at the chance to give Tottenham an early advantage at progressing to the knockout rounds. "It's true that in theory Real Madrid [will finish] first, then Dortmund, Tottenham and Apoel [will] compete to be second".

"But we have a good team as well".

Tottenham last season lost their first home Champions League fixture against Monaco, eventually failing to qualify...

Losers in eight of their last 12 matches at the hallowed venue, Spurs have been beaten by Chelsea and drawn with Burnley in their two games there this season.

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"When you are here (in England), the Premier League is the main competition for every player".

Dortmund have their own Wembley pain to soothe as they return to the stadium that played host to the most painful loss in their history. "I think it's so important to try to win the first game and get three points", Pochettino said. I think we have to do better at home, and that's something we've got to learn from this year.

But who will start as they kickstart their Champions League campaign?

Pochettino's bench at Everton was as strong as it has ever been, boasting Mousa Dembele, Harry Winks and new signings Fernando Llorente and Serge Aurier, and the deadline day arrivals will provide valuable experience of playing in the competition.

Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin insisted his team were over it.

"Last year we got off to a bad start".

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