Dortmund and Spurs to underwhelm in hyped Europa League clash

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Both Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur sit second in their respective leagues, five points off top spot and in the midst of a title race.

On the face of that, there should be little to separate the two as they prepare to do battle in one of the most eye-catching ties of the Europa League’s round-of-16.

However, there is a massive disparity between Ladbrokes’ odds in both the match and outright betting markets.

The Germans are favoured in both, sitting at 4/7 to win at home in their first leg against Spurs and 7/2 to lift the trophy in Basel come May.

Perhaps there is more credibility in Dortmund trailing title rivals and German powerhouses Bayern Munich by five points in the Bundesliga than Spurs sitting behind ashes-rising Leicester by the same deficit.

Or maybe Die Borussen’s form is what swings it. After all, the Ruhr club are unbeaten in 11 games heading into the tussle, winning nine of those matches and holding Bayern to a goalless draw too.

Spurs have won just two of their last six and themselves warmed up for continental competition with a vital league game against a title rival, albeit against local foes Arsenal instead of Leicester.

On that evidence the reasons for the north Londoners’ outsiders tag, at odds of 19/4, are starting to become clear.

No matter what the odds portray though, these are two opponents that appear evenly matched. That this is an encounter spread over two legs further enhances a cautious strategy and a game of few goals appears to be both on the cards and dripping in value.

The stats back that theory up too. Only one visitor to Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park of the last five – Hoffenheim – have managed to find the net.

Both Bayern and Portuguese giants Porto have been shut out in that time, while just one side has slotted two past Thomas Tuchel’s men since October 25. If all Spurs manage in the game is one goal, they should count it as a positive.

Similarly, Spurs have been a tough nut to crack on the road. The last time a side in any competition managed to notch more than once against them was October 22, a run that spans 14 games and includes trips to Fiorentina, Man City, Leicester and Arsenal.

So to see odds of evens that the match contains less than 2.5 goals is a surprise and should be piled in to immediately. Similarly, prices of 12/1 about a 0-0 final score and 13/2 on 1-1 appeal as longer shots.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.