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Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel hails Tottenham ahead of Europa tie

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has lavished praise on Tottenham, adding that Thursday's Europa League opponents play a German style of football.

The two second-placed teams in the Premier League and Bundesliga are set for their first ever competitive fixture when they meet at the Westfalenstadion in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Tuchel told reporters at his prematch news conference on Wednesday that he expects "two close matches" between the sides.

The 42-year-old also spoke highly of his Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino and the style of football the Argentine has brought to White Hart Lane since taking the reins in 2014.

"You can clearly see his imprint. Tottenham are physical but also have the technique and the speed," Tuchel said. "They've got a very complete game and can switch between pressing high in the opponents' half and deep in their own half.

"We can see a lot of elements from German football -- the early ball recoveries, the compactness, the way they defend, and also the outstanding attacking players are included in that defending.

Thomas Tuchel has been impressed by Tottenham this season.

"That is unique in English football. I am convinced they can stand every pace because English football has again become faster."

With Tottenham still involved in the race for the Premier League title, Tuchel praised the "impressive" season they have had so far.

"They've got the best goal difference in England," he said. "They can play with intensity and be compact in defence. And they have got outstanding individuals.

"[We need] to find free spaces as soon as possible. Can we evade their pressing and Gegenpressing? We have to get the ball into the opposing half with high precision but without risks. We want to get the upper hand during the matches."

Asked about his influence on Dortmund's revival this season after the struggles of the 2014-15 campaign under Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel said he had not set out to "change anything."

"Things happened because they happened and the group that we are," he added. "During preseason we developed it. It became our style, the style is always transforming, week after week, month after month.

"I believe what we see is the talent of the players and the certain something between the players. I am proud to be the coach here."


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