Summer signings Fazio and Benjamin Stambouli make their full debuts for Tottenham Hotspur as Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes for their opening Europa League group match away to Partizan Belgrade tonight.
Defensive midfielder Stambouli, who joined from Montpellier last month, came off the bench in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Sunderland, while Fazio, a centre-back, was an unused substitute at the Stadium of Light. His last appearance came for his previous club, Europa League holders Seville in the European Super Cup defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff last month.
Hugo Lloris captains the side in Serbia, having played every minute so far this season, with newly-installed club captain Younes Kaboul left at home ahead of Sunday’s league visit of West Bromwich Albion. Jan Vertonghen and Nabil Bentaleb return, along with Harry Kane, who scored a late own goal at Sunderland last weekend.
Michel Vorm is the back-up keeper, with midfielder Erik Lamela, who impressed in the previous round against Limassol, also on the bench, alongside forward Roberto Soldado. Emmanuel Adebayor, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose, sent-off for England Under-21s in Serbia two years ago, were also left in London by Pochettino.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side, winners of the competition in 1972 and 1984, qualified for the group stages with a 5-1 aggregate win over Cypriots Limassol last month. They are winless in two matches, having lost to Liverpool and drawn at Sunderland last weekend after starting the season with four straight victories in all competitions. Spurs won all six of their group matches last season and are unbeaten in 13 such matches in the Europa League – since a 2-1 home loss to PAOK Salonika in November 2011. The North London side are competing in the group stages for the seventh time in nine seasons, and reached the last sixteen of the competition last season, losing to eventual finalists Benfica.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Naughton, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb, Stambouli; Lennon, Paulinho, Townsend; Kane
Substitutes: Vorm, Chiriches, Dier, Capoue, Eriksen, Lamela, Soldado
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