Aaron Lennon was handed his first Tottenham Hotspur start in two months by Andre Villas-Boas tonight as Spurs looked to secure qualification for the last 32 of the Europa League.
The England international, displaced by the rapid rise of Andros Townsend in his injury-enforced absence, was partnered by record-signing Erik Lamela and Danish international Christian Eriksen in midfield for the Europa League Group K match away to Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol, ahead of Mousa Dembele and Sandro. Jermain Defoe was given his sixth start of the campaign, hoping to continue his record of scoring in every Cup appearance this season – seven in four games across the Europa League and Capital One Cup so far. Outcast Emmanuel Adebayor, without an appearance since the final day of last season, was named on the bench.
Hugo Lloris surprisingly kept his place in goal ahead of Brad Friedel, the Frenchman starting his fourth European match of the campaign. Zeki Fryers was given his third start of the season, with Tottenham yet to concede in the 213 minutes he has spent on the pitch, while Vlad Chiriches kept his place in the centre from the team that won 2-0 at Aston Villa. Spurs have also failed to let in in the three matches the Romanian has featured in so far this season. Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton completed the defence.
Michael Dawson, Nacer Chadli, Lewis Holtby, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Roberto Soldado completed Villas-Boas’ bench.
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