Europa League: Sheriff Tiraspol v Tottenham Hotspur match preview

A look ahead to this week’s fixture at the Sheriff Stadium

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The Independent Football

Tottenham Hotspur can book their place in the last 32 of the Europa League provided results in both of tonight’s Group K matches go their way. If Anzhi Makhachkala draw with Tromso, Spurs can qualify with three games to spare by beating Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol.

Spurs began their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win over Tromso and followed it up with a 2-0 away beating of Anzhi. Sheriff are unbeaten too, however, as they drew both of their matches against the same opponents.

Andre-Villas Boas is likely to continue to use the competition to rotate his line-up. Emmanuel Adebayor has been tipped to make a first Spurs appearance of the season and record signing Erik Lamela should return to the starting XI. Europa League joint top-scorer Jermain Defoe may have to come from the bench to add to his three goals.

The sides have never played each other before and indeed it is Sheriff’s first encounter with English opponents. Spurs faced a Moldovan side in the first round of the 1999-00 Uefa Cup when they beat Zimbru Chisinau 3-0 on aggregate over two legs.

KICK-OFF: Thursday, 6.00pm

PAST MEETINGS…

The clubs have never met in a competitive fixture.

STATS…

Spurs’ Brad Friedel is the oldest player currently registered in the competition. He will become the oldest player to play in the Europa League if he appears, at the age of 42, five months and six days. The previous oldest was FC Twente goalkeeper Sander Boschker (42, 33 days).

Tottenham are yet to concede in the competition – along with Swansea City, Ludogorets Razgrad and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Including Europa League qualifying matches, Spurs have scored 13 and conceded none.

A Moldovan side has only ever once beaten an English side in Uefa competition. This was in the 2006-07 Futsal Cup when Toligma Chisinau beat Doncaster College Deaf FC 10-2

ODDS…

Sheriff: 13

Tottenham: 1.25

Draw: 5.5

TV: Live on ITV4 at 6.00pm

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