Bartra out of Dortmund's Tottenham clash

Bartra out of Dortmund's Tottenham clash

Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia make up a fiendish group.

"It's true that in theory Real Madrid first, then Dortmund, Tottenham and Apoel to compete to be second". I think it'll be a very competitive group.

For Spurs, the game will also set the tone for the rest of the competition, something Pochettino alluded to on Tuesday.

Manchester United's Europa League triumph last season was the first time in four years that an English side had lifted a European trophy, after Chelsea won the same competition in 2013, having conquered the Champions League the previous year.

"Last season after the first game against Monaco it was hard to change the dynamic", he told reporters, according to Football.London. "But first we need to be better than Dortmund". Harry Kane admits that home form will be key but insists that the players are excited about the challenge. "You've got to see where you are". Saturday's 3-0 win against an abject Everton has kickstarted their Premier League campaign, but they are still without a win at Wembley this season and Dortmund, who are top of the Bundesliga and unbeaten after three matches, will not do them any favours.

Pochettino hinted he could hand a debut to right-back Serge Aurier, a recent signing from Paris Saint-Germain, but Dele Alli is suspended after a red card in the Europa League last season.

The Gabon striker has bagged six goals in his first five appearances this season and his latest Instagram post shows that he is ready to add to his tally.

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There are, however, reasons to be optimistic.

Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer and defender Marc Bartra are not likely to play after picking up injuries at the weekend.

Tottenham have struggled at Wembley in recent years even when they aren't playing European games.

The Premier League runners-up will play all their home games this season at the England national team's stadium, Wembley, as Spurs' new stadium is still under construction.

Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin insisted his team were over it. "It will definitely give us confidence if we go out and get results against teams like Dortmund".

"I think it's so important to try to win the first game and get three points".

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