Charlie Nicholas states his prediction for Dortmund v Tottenham

Charlie Nicholas looks ahead to Tottenham's Europa League trip to Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night

Charlie Nicholas is backing Borussia Dortmund to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in Thursday night’s Europa League last-16 first leg in Germany.

Spurs head into the European tie looking to return to winning ways after they squandered a 2-1 lead in Saturday’s north London derby with Arsenal and were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Dortmund and Tottenham are locking horns for the first time in European competition, but have faced off in four friendly games, which produced three Spurs wins and a draw.

Ahead of the return leg next week, Dortmund should be warned that Spurs have won all but one of their seven home fixtures against German sides, conceding just once in 630 minutes of football against Bundesliga opponents in London.

However, former Arsenal man Nicholas is tipping Dortmund to take a 2-1 lead to north London next week.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Nicholas said: “This is a tremendous test for Tottenham and I think they can go there and have a good go because Dortmund are quite an open side. One thing that’s guaranteed is a tremendous atmosphere, it was one of the best I ever played in.

“It’s another tough call for Mauricio Pochettino as to who he plays. Dele Alli is the big one as he’s had a few problems and didn’t look truly fit against Arsenal. But I think the Spurs boss will be tempted to go with a strong side, knowing knocking out Dortmund probably makes them favourites to win the competition.

“However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to be a real handful and the key to getting a positive result is probably keeping him quiet. He’s been sensational for them this season and his whole game has improved. With his pace they will need to defend five yards deeper.”

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Spurs are currently third in the Premier League and five points behind Leicester.

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