Pochettino assesses injuries and experience ahead of Dortmund clash
(Photo: Getty Images/Glyn Kirk)

Pochettino assesses injuries and experience ahead of Dortmund clash

Pochettino held his customary pre-match press conference at Hotspur Way ahead of their Champions League last 16 tie. 

broganclasper
Brogan Clasper

Mauricio Pochettino told the media it will be "impossible" for Danny Rose to start in Wednesday's clash against Borussia Dortmund

Tottenham Hotspur host Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. 

Spurs and Dortmund both go into the game with a list of first team injuries. 

Danny Rose all but out

Rose started in the 3-1 victory over Leicester City on Sunday but did not feature in Tuesday's open training session. 

The left-back reportedly suffered a shin wound in the win over the Foxes and was replaced in the final couple of minutes. 

"For tomorrow [Wednesday] it will be impossible for him to start from the beginning," said Pochettino. 

"We need to assess him to see if he can be on the bench. Tomorrow morning, we are going to assess if he can help the team by being on the bench if we need him."

It is expected that Jan Vertonghen will start the game at left-back with an inform Jadon Sancho the likely right-winger for Dortmund. 

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"But on the starting XI, he is not available," Pochettino added. 

Familiar opposition

Spurs faced Dortmund in the group stages in last season's Champions League and Spurs took maximum points from the Germans. 

However, Pochettino insisted the previous meetings are irrelevant. 

"It's different: a different year, season and momentum. The period is completely different," he said. 

The Lilywhites enjoyed a 3-1 victory at home to Dortmund in September 2017 and then a 2-1 away victory in November 2017. 

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"Of course, we believe and we have an amazing motivation to play because it's the last 16 of the Champions League.

"Everyone wants to play, everyone is excited but we're not thinking about last year. We just need to be ready to compete in our best way," Pochettino added. 

Experience is not always vital

Pochettino was quizzed on whether his side are in a better position to face Dortmund this time around than they were last. 

The Argentine boss believes a team's experience is not the be all and end all. 

"I don't believe that. We're playing a year later and experience is not important," Pochettino said. 

Lucien Favre's side currently sit top of the Bundesliga with a five-point advantage of Bayern Munich

"The most important thing is the level we show tomorrow, the way we are today and the way we approach the game.

"If we're capable of being better than the opponent and deserve to win, we'll go through. But experience is nothing if you're not better than your opponent," Poch said. 

Nothing to lose

After picking up just one point from their first three group stage games it seemed impossible for Spurs to qualify from Group B. 

However, after a miraculous final game Spurs found themselves through but Pochettino feels there is now no pressure on his side. 

"Yes, for me, to play in the Champions League with Tottenham is a massive bonus," he said.  

Spurs have proven in the league over the past few weeks they are capable of winning ugly without some of their key players. 

"To play in the Champions League three years in a row, competing with big sides, like how we're competing in the last four years in the Premier League to qualify another year for the Champions League is a massive bonus.

"No-one expected us five years ago to be in that position. We're going to try to win and be in the next stage of the Champions League but of course, that is a bonus."

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