|OPPONENTS||FC Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova)|
|COMPETITION||Europa League Group K|
|DATE||Thursday 24th October 2013|
Despite FC Sheriff winning 12 of the last 13 Moldovan Championships,
I know little about their team.
The side comprises mainly of Moldovans and Brazilians, with a few Africans and central Europeans thrown in. There are some queries about their European credentials, with no great results in the competitions, even though they are in a far flung part of Asia and in their own country - Transnistria - within Moldova. That usually ensures that most teams will find it a strange surrounding to play a football match in, but with Tottenham's depth of squad, even with those players missing injured or resting, they should win this comfortably to top the group after three games and thus virtually be through to the knock out stages.
I imagine that their presence in Europe for a large number of years ensured that they were in Pot 3 of the draw, leaving Tromso as the weakest team in the group. That wasn't counting Anzhi, who then sold all their decent players.
Spurs could play two forwards in this match, to test out the Sheriff's defence, but the preference for AVB to start with one up top and supported by midfielders might be more to his liking, with Lennon giving the pace and getting the full backs pushing up. I would like to see Erik Lamela given 90 minutes, so that he can get used to playing in the side and even Emmanuel Adebayor might get a run out in case the team need him at some stage soon.
With two wins and no goals conceded, the group provides few real tests, although this might be one of them, with the travelling and everything, but Spurs should come through it without too much trauma.
|PREDICTION||FC Sheriff (Moldova) 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Tottenham's injured lost includes Danny Rose (toe), Younes Kaboul (thigh) and Etienne Capoue (ankle), while Andros Townsend, Paulinho and Kyle Walker have been rested and left back in England. Emmanuel Adebayor is included in the squad for the match and might play a part for the first time this season.
|FC SHERIFF TEAM NEWS :|
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
FC Sheriff (Moldova) 0 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Thursday 24th October 2013 Kick off 18:00 (UK time)
Moyal (foul on Lamela)
Chiriches (foul on Luvannor) 45+1
|Crowd : ,||Weather : Dry, chilly|
|Referee : Liran Liany (Israel)||Assistant Referees : Shabtai Nahmais, David Elias Biton (Israel)|
|Fourth Official : Oren Borneshtain (Israel)||Additional Assistants : Menashe Masiah; Daniel Bar Natan (Israel)|
|UEFA Delegate : Jean Paul Mievis (Belgium)||UEFA Referee Observer : Zoran Petrovic (Serbia)|
|Sheriff kicked off the first half.|
|Match time 90+4 minutes|
|FC Sheriff :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Ismail ISA (16
Vadim PAIRELI 88)
18 Jermain DEFOE
|Manager : Veaceslav Rasnac||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : IDC||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
A long trip to an independent part of a far flung Eastern European nation is not the ideal preparations for two games in four days, but this is what Spurs were called upon to undertake ahead of their league and League Cup meetings with Hull City on Sunday and Wednesday. However, the depth of the squad allowed Andres Villas-Boas to rotate and come out with a fully rounded 0-2 win to keep the 100% record in the Europa League group going, but the match was not without a worry or two.
Sheriff put Spurs under some
early pressure with a couple of corners which Vertonghen and Lloris
dealt with. There was also pressure on Tottenham's players on the
ball to deny them time and space, so it took until the 12th minute
for them to mount an attack. A corner was won by Lennon's run down
the right and Eriksen and Lamela worked a short corner, with the
Dane's cross finding Jan Vertonghen. The captain jumped well above
the man who was supposed to be marking him and put the ball into the
net from eight yards out. It was a simple goal and despite Sheriff's
effort, Spurs were ahead.
Spurs were opened up on
their right, with a low cross picking out Ricardinho and his shot
was deflected wide by Dawson's block in the 71st minute. Tottenham
were holding the ball well, but not making a lot of inroads into the
Sheriff defence, but the crowded ranks of defenders made Spurs try
to over play the ball and when they didn't Chiriches moved forward
to the edge of the home team's box to fire over, with Lennon free
outside him. But, just afterwards, in the 75th minute, Nacer
Chadli touched a little ball back in front of Jermain Defoe and from
25 yards out, his fierce shot flicked off Balima to flat-foot the
keeper and fly into the net to put Tottenham 2-0 up. It was a
typical Defoe goal and one that had not looked like coming for him,
but it put him level with Martin Chivers on 22 European goals.
Not that any of that mattered too much, as we won 2-0 without over-exerting ourselves and some of these players will no doubt be featuring in the League Cup tie against Hull City next Wednesday. Then again against Sheriff for the return at the Lane on 7th November. After that, qualification as group winners might be signed and sealed.
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|What you thought|
|Europa League Group K Table|
Position before match :
Position after match : 1st
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