Tottenham Hotspur have been drawn against defending champions Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Cypriot side APOEL in the group stage of this season’s Champions League.
The draw, which see’s former Spurs favourite Gareth Bale face his old side, was met with excitement and fear amongst fans on social media as they reacted to the draw which took place earlier on this evening.
There can be no denying that although the games against Real and Dortmund will provide a stern test for the club, it will also provide a huge indication of how far we have progressed over the last 3 or so years with Mauricio Pochettino in charge.
If we are to progress into the knockout stages of the tournament, then it goes without saying that the two games against APOEL need to return 6 points. Whether we qualify or not will come down to the results against Dortmund and Real home and away. Real Madrid will of course provide the toughest test for us. With the Spanish giants coming off the back of consecutive Champions League victories, we will do well to get anything at the Bernabeu and avoiding defeat against them at Wembley would be a fantastic result, given how impressive they have looked since Zidane took charge a couple of years ago.
Dortmund is a tricky one. Under their new manager Peter Bosz this year, the side from the north of Germany are formidable on European nights when they play at their fortress of a stadium, the Signal Iduna Park. However, they are somewhat of an unknown quantity as they are still adopting the new coaches methods and with the sale of star man Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona about to be completed, no-one really knows how they will perform this year. With the Yellow Wall and a minimum of 75,000 fans roaring them on, much like the Real Madrid away game, avoiding defeat would go a long way in ensuring we qualify from the group.
As it goes without saying, there will be a huge amount of emphasis in ensuring that the club’s woeful Wembley record is turned around between now and the first home game of the group stages, with the Premier League fixtures between now and then taking on even more importance than they normally would.
When asked about the draw, club legend Ledley King said “It’s a tough group but that’s what you’d expect. This is the Champions League and is the elite club tournament in the world. As a player, I think you’re delighted with Real Madrid and Dortmund and you’d want to play against the best clubs available. Last year, the club were favourites to get out of the group and obviously this didn’t happen, but with the draw this year, it will be a little bit more tough, but the players will look forward to the challenge and the team will feel that if they play to their full potential then there’s no reason why we can’t qualify from the group”