Three storylines that could decide Dortmund vs. Tottenham

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While an all-England Round of 16 fixture be quite the enjoyable matchup on Thursday, things will get interesting when Borussia Dortmund hosts Tottenham Hotspur in Europa League action.

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

Both clubs come into the meeting playing excellent football, and ironically enough both sitting second in the Bundesliga and Premier League, respectively.

 [ MORE: 3 key battles that could decide Liverpool vs. Man Utd ]

Let’s take a closer look at three storylines that could decide Dortmund-Tottenham:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs. Tottenham’s defense

33 goals in all competitions. That’s what Tottenham has to go up against on Thursday. Aubameyang is without question one of the best strikers in the world at 26 years old, and it doesn’t help Spurs knowing that he isn’t the only man that needs marking. Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are each superb attackers in their own right, which will leave Toby Alderweireld and company paying close attention to the Dortmund front three.

Kane, Lamela come off the bench for Spurs

While Tottenham will have to worry about the Dortmund attack, Mauricio Pochettino‘s side is gambling on his starting lineup. Goalscoring extraordinaire Harry Kane and Erik Lamela are among the notables to start from the bench on Thursday. While the duo, along with a player like Mousa Dembélé, could very well prove to important in the latter stages of the match, Spurs must be wary to not let the game get out of hand prior to that point.

Coaching philosophies

Judging by the lineups released by both clubs, it’s more than fair to say that Dortmund should be fancied the winner of the matchup. Whether Pochettino is simply hoping to keep it close heading back to White Hart Lane in a week’s time or the Argentine is looking forward to Spurs’ vital clash with Aston Villa on Sunday, his tactics will surely be criticized with a loss. On the other hand, Thomas Tuchel is within striking distance of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, but has still opted to put out his best eleven players.

We’ll see which decision pays off.

Follow @MattReedFutbol