Dortmund vs Tottenham - Poch wants fixture schedule help for English clubs

Posted Tuesday, March 05, 2019 by PA

Dortmund vs Tottenham - Poch wants fixture schedule help for English clubs

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has called on the Football Association and Premier League to help English clubs be stronger in the Champions League.

Pochettino is furious that his side have had less time to prepare for both legs of their Champions League last-16 tie than their opponents Borussia Dortmund.

Spurs played Leicester on the Sunday before the Wednesday of their first leg, with Dortmund playing 24 hours earlier. And ahead of this Tuesday’s second leg in Germany the Bundesliga leaders were in action on Friday while Pochettino’s men took on Arsenal in the north London derby on Saturday lunchtime.

That reduced preparation time for the first leg did not hamper Spurs too much, though, as they won 3-0 at Wembley, putting them in pole position for just a second quarter-final appearance in the Champions League.

Pochettino believes English sides should be better looked after with regards to domestic fixtures in the build up to big European evenings and pointed to Ligue 1 side Rennes, whose weekend game was called off in order to give them more time to prepare for a Europa League clash with Arsenal.

“I think we need help from the FA, we need help from the Premier League, I don’t know because I am not involved in the decisions,” the Argentinian said.

“I don’t know whether to blame the FA or to blame the Premier League or to blame Tottenham because we changed the day because we’ve still not delivered our new stadium or the TV because they wanted us to play live on Saturday.

“Look what happened with Rennes in the Europa League. They cancelled their game at the weekend to help Rennes to play against Arsenal.

“In Europe, the FAs are more sensitive to help the club to compete in the best way in Europe.

“I would like to play in the same situation as your opponent. That is the most important, you have the same days to prepare for the game.

“I think that is not fair and it is a problem that in the future it is a thing we need to change if we want to help the English clubs be stronger in the competition.

“We need to be more sensitive to the clubs who play in Europe to provide better condition to have the same possibility to arrive to the games.”

Spurs will be without Dele Alli (hamstring) and Kieran Tripper, with both staying in London.

Harry Winks (hip) and Eric Dier (tonsillitis) have travelled but might only be fit for the bench.

Dortmund have scored three or more goals at home on 12 occasions in all competitions this season and must do so again, without conceding, to have any chance of progressing.

Boss Lucien Favre said: “We know it will be very difficult but you never know. We have already played many games in this stadium where we have written history and we are in a position to achieve the impossible.

“We have to be clever, we have to reach our total peak and we have to score the goals at the right moment.

“If they score it will be very difficult, but the whole team believes in themselves.

“We have to give a top performance, it is very difficult but nothing is impossible.

“We know we can score goals but we have to be very clever with the way we play. We have to be careful with how we attack.”

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