Kevin Wimmer says Tottenham have ‘chance to show Europe we are a very good team’ against Dortmund

Spurs face the German giants, who reached the Champions League final three years ago, at the Westfalenstadion in the Europa League last 16 and it is the first time the two clubs have ever met in a competitive match.

Kevin Wimmer wants Tottenham to show Europe they are ready for the Uefa Champions League when they take on Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.

Spurs face the German giants at the Westfalenstadion in the Europa League last 16 and it is the first time the two clubs have ever met in a competitive match.

Dortmund reached the Champions League final three years ago and are enjoying another excellent season in the Bundesliga, where they sit second, five points behind Bayern Munich.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are second in the Premier League, as they chase a first league title since 1961, and Wimmer believes Spurs can make a statement this week about their European credentials.

“Tottenham against Dortmund could easily be a Champions League game – it’s a big opportunity for us to see where we are at the moment,” Wimmer said.

“We are trying to improve all the time and this is a chance for us to show Europe we are a very good team.

“I think we have a very good squad with a lot of talented players. Everybody is hungry to play every game and show that he can play.”

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Wimmer is no stranger to German football, having moved to White Hart Lane last summer from Cologne, where he made 32 league appearances last season.

The Austrian centre-half is now a regular in the Tottenham backline after Jan Vertonghen was sidelined with a knee injury, and he has impressed, striking a strong partnership along Toby Alderweireld.

“I played for a year in the Bundesliga but the intensity in England is amazing, much higher than in Germany and it is more attractive for me to play in England,” Wimmer said.

“It’s always nice feeling to come back to Germany. I’ve been looking forward to this game. Every player was happy when we saw the draw. Dortmund are a very good team but this is a good opportunity to show our quality.”

The first leg in Germany will be Pochettino’s 100th game in charge at Tottenham and the Argentinean admits his youthful side are in for a thorough examination.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has netted 29 goals in 33 games this season while the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus and Mats Hummels have all been linked with the continent’s most glamorous clubs. Gundogan was pictured on Thursday meeting Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain in Amsterdam.

“Borussia Dortmund have very good players, a very good team, a great coach - Thomas Tuchel is fantastic and he has showed that from the beginning of the season,” Pochettino said.

“I like the way they play but I think that it’s a good challenge for us. I think we play against one of the best teams in Europe.

“The strikers they have - Aubameyang, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan, Gundogan in midfield, Hummels - they’re internationals and big players. They can stay here or go to Real Madrid or Barcelona.”

Pochettino must again balance a desire to progress in Europe’s second tier tournament with Tottenham’s domestic ambitions.

Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier have all been left in England with Alli suspended, Rose nursing a calf problem and Dier handed a rest ahead of Sunday’s game at Aston Villa.

Europa League last-16, first-leg fixtures

THursday (in UAE time)

• Shakhtar Donetsk v Anderlecht, 10pm

• Basel v Sevilla, 10pm

• Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur, 10pm

• Fenerbahce v Braga, 10pm

• Villarreal v Bayer Leverkusen, 12.05am

• Athletic Bilbao v Valencia, 12.05am

• Liverpool v Manchester United, 12.05am

• Sparta Prague v Lazio, 12.05am

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