Tottenham won the clubs' only previous encounter in 2008, but they may have their work cut out as a Dinamo side in fine fettle comes to London.
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Tottenham Hotspur's lengthy UEFA Europa League campaign continues in the round of 16 against a buoyant Dinamo Zagreb side who have won their last six matches in the competition.
• Spurs, who entered the competition in the second qualifying round, topped Group J in the autumn before enjoying a comfortable win over Wolfsberg in the round of 32, taking the tie 8-1 on aggregate (4-1 a, 4-0 h) with Carlos Vinícius supplying three of the eight goals and Gareth Bale two.
• Dinamo Zagreb are Croatia's last remaining European representatives. They enjoyed a superb autumn in the UEFA Europa League, going unbeaten through Group K as they claimed 14 points to finish first ahead of Wolfsberg, Feyenoord and CSKA Moskva. Then, in the round of 32, they saw off another Russian team, beating Krasnodar 3-2 in Russia and 1-0 at home.
• The one previous encounter between the clubs occurred in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, Tottenham overcoming Dinamo 4-0 at their former White Hart Lane home with the help of a Darren Bent hat-trick and subsequently reaching the round of 32 at their Croatian rivals' expense.
• Spurs have won all four of their previous home games against Croatian visitors, the other three all against Hajduk Split in successful two-legged knockout ties.
• Dinamo have lost six of their seven UEFA encounters in England, drawing the other. Their most recent visit brought a 2-0 defeat by Manchester City in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage. It was their third successive match in the country without scoring. Their three two-legged ties against English clubs have all ended in defeat.
• Tottenham finished outside the top four of the Premier League for the first time in five seasons in 2019/20, their final position of sixth ending a four-year run in the UEFA Champions League that had taken them into the final in 2018/19 and to the round of 16 last season, where they were eliminated by Leipzig (0-1 h, 0-3 a).
• Spurs' 2020/21 European campaign began at an earlier stage than in any previous season, but José Mourinho's side came through qualifying ties away to Lokomotiv Plovdiv (2-1) and Shkëndija (3-1) before beating Maccabi Haifa 7-2 at home in the play-offs. In Group J they recovered from a shock 1-0 defeat in Antwerp on Matchday 2, beating bottom-placed Ludogorets twice (3-1 a, 4-0 h) then drawing 3-3 at LASK to ensure further progress before leapfrogging the Belgian side to the top of the standings with a 2-0 win in London on Matchday 6.
• This is Tottenham's fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 16. They have won only one of their three previous ties at this stage of the competition, the first, in 2012/13, on away goals against Internazionale (3-0 h, 1-4 aet a). Since then they have gone out to Benfica in 2013/14 (1-3 h, 2-2 a) and Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16 (0-3 a, 1-2 h).
• Tottenham have lost three of their 11 European games at their new stadium, including a record 7-2 defeat by Bayern München last season, but have won all five there this term, scoring 20 goals. In the UEFA Europa League knockout phase their home record is W5 D3 L2, albeit with just two wins in the last six matches (D2 L2).
• Dinamo romped to their 21st Croatian title last season, completing a hat-trick of 1. HNL triumphs. They also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points – their best return in the competition for 20 years.
• Dinamo began this European campaign under returning coach Zoran Mamić by overcoming hosts CFR Cluj on penalties in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros before defeating Flora of Estonia 3-1 at home in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of the competition for the sixth time. As in 2018/19, they won four and drew two of their six games to top the group, getting the better of Feyenoord (0-0 h, 2-0 a), CSKA (0-0 a, 3-1 h) and fellow qualifiers Wolfsberg (1-0 a, 3-0 h).
• This is only the second time Dinamo have qualified from a group stage in any continental competition, the previous occasion having come two years ago, when they beat Viktoria Plzeň 4-2 on aggregate in the round of 32 before falling to Benfica in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 0-3 aet a).
• Dinamo's victory at Wolfsberg on Matchday 4 was their first in eight European away fixtures outside the qualifying phase (D3 L4), to which they have since added further wins on the road at Feyenoord and Krasnodar, making it six victories on the trot, home and away, in the UEFA Europa League.
Links and trivia
• Dinamo's French defender Kévin Théophile-Catherine made 28 appearances in the English Premier League with Cardiff City in 2013/14, making his home debut for the club in a 0-1 home defeat by Tottenham.
• Dinamo goalkeeper Dominik Livaković made his competitive international debut for Croatia on 12 October 2018 in Rijeka in a 0-0 UEFA Nations League draw against an England side featuring Tottenham's Harry Kane and Eric Dier.
• Livaković and Tottenham's Hugo Lloris were opposing goalkeepers when France defeated Croatia 2-1 in Zagreb in a UEFA Nations League match on 14 October 2020. Dinamo striker Bruno Petković also started the game for Croatia.
• Dinamo's one goal conceded in the group stage matched the UEFA Europa League record previously shared by Standard Liège (2011/12) and Salzburg (2017/18).
• Spurs manager Mourinho's only experience of the UEFA Europa League prior to this season was in 2016/17, when his Manchester United side lifted the trophy. His one season managing in the UEFA Cup also ended in glory as he steered Porto to victory in 2002/03.
• Tottenham's sixth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase is a record for an English club. They became the first Premier League side to chalk up 50 matches in the competition proper on Matchday 2.
• Tottenham have now scored 101 goals in the UEFA Europa League proper, becoming the first English club to reach a century – a day before arch rivals Arsenal also achieved the feat.
• Spurs are one of three former UEFA Cup winners in this season's round of 16, along with Ajax and Shakhtar Donetsk. Manchester United (2016/17) are the only club in the field to have won the UEFA Europa League.
• Tottenham have won their last four matches, including three in the Premier League, while Dinamo have been victorious in their last eight in all competitions and currently top the league standings in Croatia, two points ahead of Osijek with a game in hand.