Tottenham Hotspur open their 2017/18 Champions League campaign later today against Bundesliga-side Borussia Dortmund, playing in what some pundits have called this year’s Group of Death that includes the likes of current UCL holders, Real Madrid. Ahead of Wednesday’s match at Wembley Stadium, I sat down with the site manager of Fear The Wall and moonlighting Carty Free writer Brian Meyers to talk about Dortmund’s transfer window, if Ousmane Dembele is the most hated man among supporters, and what to expect in the match.
CFC: How has the start of the season been going for Dortmund? Was the transfer window kind to the crew from Signal Iduna Park?
FTW: The season has started very well for Dortmund. Two dominant wins and one iffy draw is a great start. Our transfer window went well with guys like Zagadou and Phillip already getting plenty of time in black and yellow. Zagadou especially has looked good in the full back position. Yarmolenko hasn't played much but is the wild card against Spurs as he may be a top class player in the Bosz system. Toprak has slotted in fine at center back after a really rough pre season.
Dortmund lost Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona in a rather strange transfer saga that included a trashed house and Dembele basically going AWOL. What’s the Dortmund faithful’s take on Dembele leaving?
There is not really a difference of opinion here, the fans hate him more then any other player to leave BVB. He went about it as poorly as possible. A huge shame because I'd say there is a good chance he will one day be the worlds best player.
This seems like the best time in the last five years for Spurs to draw Dortmund, even though it’s still terrifying. Are Spurs viewed as a dangerous threat to Dortmund in this group stage?
Spurs and BVB are about evenly matched at the moment. There is about a 50/50 shot BVB gets to the knockout stage above them. This is a better Spurs team the Europa League a few years ago. However BVB may actually be better this year as well thanks to Bosz and team form.
Christian Pulisic: Savior of US soccer or savior of everything good and right in the world? He’s been very good for Dortmund and very putrid for the US. What’s the biggest difference for him between the two?
Hes playing with better players at BVB. Pulisic is a good player because he is amazingly technically gifted and has a world class understanding of the game. He can't take advantage of those things if his teammates are so below him in terms of technical ability. Now that sounds harsh but the difference in ability between BVB and the USMNT is undoubtedly monumental.
What’s the expected lineup for Wednesday?
(4-2-3-1): Burki; Piszczek, Sokratis, Toprak, Zagadou; Weigl, Sahin; Pulisic, Gotze, Phillip; Aubameyang
As always, a big thank you to Brian for answering some questions. I did the same for him over at Fear The Wall, so when you get a chance be sure to check it out once it goes live!