OPPONENTS Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia)
COMPETITION Europa League Group
DATE Thursday 3rd October 2013
VENUE Saturn Stadium, Ramenskoye, Moscow






With Spurs having endured a long journey to Russia and with a home game against West Ham United no Sunday, a job well done will be on their minds to try and rest some of the regulars who may start this Europa League match against Anzhi Makhachkala.

Having seen off a physical Tromso side at the Lane, a win or a draw in Moscow will be most welcome and will help Spurs rest some players for future group games.  With a strong line-up possible, with the likes of Holtby, Defoe, Adebayor, Lamela, Chadli, Chiriches, Sandro, Fryers and Friedel options for AVB to select against an Anzhi side shorn of seven top players, who all joined Moscow Dynamo in the transfer window (with two going to Chelsea and some more to Lokomtiv Moscow), as the club owner downsizes his investment in the team and the size of the squad.  With former Manchester United coach Rene Meuleunsteen having been dismissed after eight games, they are on their second manager this season already and there may be some problems over changing styles from the passing patterns the Dutchman would have instilled in them. 

This has left the team light of quality players, but with a slight home advantage (they are not playing at home, but in Moscow), you would still expect them to put in a decent performance, while Spurs will be looking to emulate their showing against Dinamo Tbilisi in the qualifying round.

With fringe players willing to show why they should be in the first team more often, I take Tottenham to win and put themselves in a strong position in the group.

PREDICTION Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia)    1         Tottenham Hotspur    3
Spurs are still missing Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Aaron Lennon (foot), but may have Emmanuel Adebayor back in the squad after his return to first team training. 
Striker Lacina Traore will be missing from the Anzhi side with a shoulder injury.  Alexandru Epureanu (knee) and Ilya Maksimov are also likely to be out of the game.

ITV 4 - 16:45 (live)

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Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
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Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
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South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia)   0 (0)                                                         Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2)
Europa League Group K
Thursday 3rd October 2013                                                                                                                    Kick off 17:00
Saturn Stadium, Moscow
Defoe 34
Chadli 39





Crowd :   5,000 Weather :  Cold, cloudy
Referee :  Bulent Yildarim (Turkey) Assistant Referees :  Serkan Gencerler; Ekrem Kan (Turkey)
Fourth Official :  Kemal Yilmaz (Turkey) Additional Assistants : Baris Simsek; Mustafa Ilker Coskun (Turkey)
Spurs kicked off the first half.
Anzhi Makhachkala (Russia) : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Yevgeny POMAZAN

  4  Benoit ANGBWA ( 3 Ali GADZHIBEKOV 78)
  JUCILEI Da Silva (c)
24  Dele ADELEYE

37  EWERTON Almeida Santos
25  Odil AHMEDOV
29  Abdul RAZAK
99  Islamnur ABDULAVOV (19 Lacina TRAORE 46)

28  Serder SERDEROV ( 2 Andrey YESCHENKO 56)

Unused subs: 
22  Mikhail KERZAKHOV
10  Alan GATAGOV
15  Vadim DEMIDOV


25  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER
  4  Younes KABOUL (c) (
20 Michael DAWSON 72)
35  Zeki FRYERS

19  Mousa DEMBELE

33  Erik LAMELA (
22 Gylfi SIGURDSSON 72)
14  Lewis HOLTBY (
23 Christian ERIKSEN 78)
21  Nacer CHADLI 

18  Jermain DEFOE 

Unused subs: 
35  Harry KANE
  9  Roberto SOLDADO

Manager :  Gadzhi Gadzhiev Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas
Sponsor :   Energy Standard Group Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

If Spurs were a long way from home, then a 1,000 miles from Dagestan didn't exactly make this a home match for Anzhi Makhachkala, who los tout to Spurs 0-2 in this Europa League Group K meeting.

With a much changed side from the Chelsea game, with another London derby against West Ham due on Sunday, Spurs looked like a team that was strong enough to win this match against an Anzhi side that had been shorn of its world superstars by the owner's insistence in cutting back his funding of the club to the bone.  With Chiriches, Fryers, Chadli, Lamela and Lewis Holtby starting, there was a presence of fringe players, but strong ones at that.

Spurs held the ball for the first 90 seconds without Anzhi getting a touch, with their first being a block in their own penalty area from Kyle Walker's cross. When Anzhi did get the ball, they looked to hit Spurs on the break and a dodgy offside stopped one early attack, with Lloris pulling out of a challenge that he might have had to make had play gone on.

While Anzhi made strides forward, they failed to get behind the back four and Vlad Chiriches had to show a bit of skill to get out of a position on the edge of his own box with two opponents around him. It took until the 14th minute, when Sandro hit a shot from outside the box, that Tottenham got one on target, with Defoe shooting wide left from the right of the D a minute before.

It was cold enough for the home substitutes to have woollen blankets over their knees and the Anzhi fans tried to keep warm by making some noise. Their players on the pitch were being given a little bit of a run around, as Spurs retained possession, but they really needed to make something from it. There was a quick break on their left wing that saw Serderov break into the box to be stopped by Sandro and a dive out at his feet by Hugo Lloris.

Just after the half hour mark, Lewis Holtby tried a curling shot from outside the box that the keeper punched away. It was a precursor to the first goal of the game, with a move where the ball was worked from left to right with Holtby creating the shooting chance for Jermain Defoe to fire it into the roof of the net from eight yards out. It took 33 patient minutes, but it was worth waiting for.

A straightforward move down the right saw Walker pull a low ball square into the box, where he picked out Nacer Chadli, who side-footed past the keeper from eight yards out to double the lead in the 39th minute. Walker was well picked out by a Holtby pass from the centre circle and in lots of space, he did well to produce a measured pass on a dodgy pitch to make the goal.

Taking the game up to half-time with a period of possession, Tottenham had controlled the first half, with Anzhi only fleetingly threatening, leaving a massive 74% against the possession stats for the Lilywhites.

With Anzhi bringing on lanky Ivorian striker Lacina Traore at half time, the Russian side picked up their play a bit and the forward sent Eschenko away on the left. His low cross to the near post had to be kicked away by Lloris and then the Spurs keeper pushed over a cross from Solomatin that swerved in on goal at the last minute. Spurs were getting caught in possession and Anzhi broke on goal, with Solomatin threw an almighty dive when in the box against Kaboul, but didn't even get spoken to by the referee. It was Kaboul's last involvement, as he went off injured to be replaced by Michael Dawson, with Lamela coming off and Sigurdsson on. Eriksen replaced Holtby and Anzhi made another change, but there was little to comment on in the remainder of the match. Defoe blasted one over and then Solomatin hit a shot from the right side 22 yards out, which Lloris had to dive to push out wide to his right.

The second half had seen Anzhi get more physical and Spurs get a little less willing to get involved, but there was not an over-riding need to press on further, with the main issue being to get through the game without any more injuries. Chadli's pass to free Defoe in the box on the left, saw the little forward take the ball away from the keeper, but he played a short pass for Chadli to shoot and the defender got there first.

The Spujrs defence looked better as the game went on, with Fryers looking more assured, as did Chiriches in the middle of the back four. Not that they were stretched that much, leaving Spurs 2-0 winners against a side who promised little and delivered less.

A good performance, which ensured a comfortable win in the end.  One more win and Spurs are virtually through to the knock out stages, which will allow AVB an opportunity to give our youngsters a go in the remaining matches to rest the stars for the Premier League and the latter parts of this competition.

James Martindale


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What you thought
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Other scores during this round :
Tromso (NOR) 1 FC Sheriff (MOL) 1 Thursday
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Swansea City 1 St. Gallen (SWI) 0 Thursday
Wigan Atheltic 3 NK Maribor (SLV) 1 Thursday
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Europa League Group K Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 2 0 0 5 0 6 +5
2 FC Sheriff 2 0 1 0 1 1 2 0
3 Anzhi Machachkala 2 0 1 1 0 2 1 -2
4 Tromso 2 0 1 1 1 4 1 -3


Position before match :  1st
Position after match :  1st


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