Tottenham forward Son Heung-min will not dwell on his past feats against Borussia Dortmund ahead of tonight’s first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.
After going winless in their opening three Group B games, Spurs produced a remarkable recovery to snatch second-place from Inter Milan on goal difference on the back of winning two of their final three matches.
Now Mauricio Pochettino’s side will test their mettle against Bundesliga leaders Dortmund at Wembley tonight, where they hope to go one better than last season’s last-16 exit to Juventus.
And Son, who previously played for Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, has scored eight goals in nine appearances against Dortmund and won six of those encounters.
“I don’t know!” Son told the club website, when asked about his strong record against BVB.
“Borussia Dortmund are one of the best teams in Germany, they are top of the table right now and it’s a special thing for me to play against them.
“It’s always been an honour to play against them, especially as I’ve won most times! It’s always great to win against such a big team. That doesn’t matter though, it is history and I just want to focus on this game.
“Football changes so quickly. Last season in the group stage they were still a great side but they’ve improved, they are even better than last season. It will be a very good game and I’m so excited to play against them again.”
German football expert Raphael Honigstein also warns that Spurs will be in for a tricky time against Dortmund, despite their recent injury problems.
“Injuries at the back have come back to bite them a little in recent weeks,” said Honigstein.
“Julian Weigl, who is normally a midfielder, has been filling in at centre-back because they’ve had many injuries – Manuel Akanji hasn’t played this year, Dan-Axel Zagadou isn’t quite right so they’ve been forced to make changes and they’ve suffered a little for it.
“There was also an element of sloppiness involved against Hoffenheim (led 3-0 after 75 minutes, drew 3-3 on Saturday), they thought the game was won and they were much closer to scoring a fourth goal than Hoffenheim were to scoring but they were then caught cold. It was a similar story against Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup, where they conceded too many silly goals (drew 3-3, lost on penalties) and got knocked out.
“However, in both of those games, the results actually mask the superiority of Dortmund for much of the games. They were in control, could have scored more goals and it’s only because their finishing wasn’t clinical that they allowed those teams back in and paid the price.
“They have only lost once in the Bundesliga, they beat Bayern Munich, beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League – the heaviest defeat of the Diego Simeone era – and apart from losing against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano (in the return game in the UCL) their only defeat is at Fortuna Dusseldorf.
“Okay, you could count the DFB Cup defeat on penalties, but in terms of 90 minutes they’ve only lost two games all season – that shows just how consistent they have been.”
The match at Wembley between Spurs and Dortmund will begin at 9:00 PM (CET).