Mauricio Pochettino has hit out at the decision to allow Borussia Dortmund more preparation time than Tottenham Hotspur ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg.

Dortmund played their weekend fixture on Friday night, losing 2-1 at FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Spurs had a slightly more positive result, drawing 1-1 with Arsenal in Saturday’s north London derby at Wembley.

But Pochettino has taken issue with the scheduling, insisting it is unfair Dortmund were given an extra 24 hours to prepare for Tuesday night’s game.

“It’s impossible in this type of game, the last 16 of the Champions League – with how important it is – that one team have 24 hours more than the other to prepare,” Pochettino said in his Champions League press conference (via the Guardian).

“I think it is massive. I don’t understand that both clubs are not going to arrive in the same situation. It is not the same to have 24 hours more or less to prepare for the game. We must prioritise different things and we cannot work on the pitch. It is not fair for the players and for the team who compete with a massive disadvantage.

“We need help from the FA, we need help from the Premier League, and it’s true they need to be more sensitive to this type of situation. It’s difficult already and it’s going to be more difficult.

“Look what happened with Rennes in the Europa League. They cancelled their game at the weekend to help provide Rennes [with more time] to play against Arsenal. In Europe the FAs are more sensitive. It is a problem that we need to change if we want to help the English clubs be stronger in the competition.”

Tottenham will be wary of Dortmund making a quick start. If the hosts score early, it could be a cagey game for the visitors.

If Spurs manage to find the net, however, Dortmund will have to score five goals to progress to the quarter-finals.

Whether the fact Dortmund had more time to recover and prepare has an effect on their ability to turn the tie around remains to be seen.

Regardless of fitness, Tottenham will need to show a lot of mental strength to avoid a potentially big embarrassment.



  1. Yes of course he is right, he is 100% correct
    There is no Help from the Premier League
    I totally get the Premier League needs to look after its product, its global appeal to all football fans
    How bigger would the product be if English teams were challenging in the Champions League Finals year in year out,
    it happens in France, Spain, Germany, all over Europe
    Take a look at the fixtures allow the Premier League teams to play Friday Night for a Tuesday game or Saturday midday for a Wednesday game it is so easy

  2. Completely agree Eamonn with your points, especially regarding the product benefits for the PL of getting to finals. On the other hand Barcelona and Real get huge benefits more from the CL more so than their weaker La Liga. This has been the problem with the PL for a long time and won’t change till clubs make more of an issue.


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