Europa League: Tottenham Hotspur v Sheriff Tiraspol match preview
A look ahead to this tonight’s Europa League tie at White Hart Lane
Thursday 07 November 2013
Andre Villas-Boas will be confident that his Tottenham side can secure a spot in the Europa League’s knockout rounds when they host winless Sheriff in front of the White Hart Lane faithful.
Spurs have lost just two of their last twenty-two European clashes at the Lane and comfortably dispatched the Moldovans 2-0 when they met in Tiraspol last month after goals from Jan Vertonghen and Jermain Defoe sent them on their way.
Regardless of the events in the game between Tromso and Anzhi Makhachkala, a repeat performance will see Villas-Boas’ men through.
It is, however, their sixth game in just over a fortnight and severe rotation may be necessary to ensure that Spurs don’t stutter in other competitions.
The Londoners have a formidable second string though after reinvesting the £85mi received from Gareth Bale’s switch to Real Madrid.
The likes of Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue – all new recruits – will be especially hopeful to see their name on the team sheet after only appearing from the bench in recent weeks.
Sheriff, on the other hand, needed an 84th-minute winner last week from Ismail Isa to defeat Rapid Ghidighici and preserve their seven-point lead at the top of the Moldovan National Division.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 8.05pm
Sheriff Tiraspol 0 Tottenham 2 (Vertonghen, Defoe), October 2013
Tottenham are yet to concede during this Europa League campaign. If they continue this run for the next two games, they will be the first side to ever go through all six group games without letting a single goal in.
Spurs (1972, 1984) are one of only five teams in the group stage who have won this trophy before, along with Valencia CF (2004), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), PSV Eindhoven (1978) and fellow two-time winners Sevilla FC (2006, 2007).
Sheriff are yet to win in 12 away games in the UEFA Cup or Europa League, though their most recent three away fixtures in this competition ended in draws.
The Moldovans competed in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 Europa League group stages, failing to advance on either occasion after collecting five points each time. They currently have two.
Tottenham to win: 1/8
Sheriff to win: 20/1
TV: Live on ITV 4 HD at 8.05pm
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