Mats Hummels: Why I’m happy Dortmund will face Tottenham
Mats Hummels says he didn't want to face an easy opponent in the Europa League last 16
Mats Hummels has explained why he is happy Borussia Dortmund are facing Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League last 16.
The Bundesliga side will welcome Tottenham to the BVB Stadion Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday night.
Dortmund are in second place in the Bundesliga table and five points behind Bayern Munich after Saturday’s goalless draw with the leaders.
Tottenham are five points behind leaders Leicester City after Mauricio Pochettino’s side played out a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in the north London derby at the weekend.
Germany international Hummels believes Dortmund are better served facing a tough opponent in their last-16 clash than breezing through an easy tie.
“I’m not someone who always hopes to get the easiest opponents and muddling through somehow I want the best, I want to face the best from the very first match,” Hummels told Kicker.
“Should we get clear of Tottenham, it feels very different than if you defeat a team you are expected against with two simple wins.”
Dortmund have scored 20 goals in their six European home games this term (W5 L1), their sole defeat in the process a 1-0 reversal against PAOK FC on matchday six, when their last-32 place was already secured.
Tottenham have lost only once in eight European outings this season (W5 D2 L1) – 2-1 at RSC Anderlecht during the group stage.
Prior to this campaign, Dortmund had not featured in the Europa League since an unsuccessful group stage foray in 2010/11. They were twice losing Uefa Cup finalists, beaten by Juventus in 1993 and Feyenoord in 2002.