OPPONENTS Tromso IL (Norway)
DATE Thursday 28th November 2013
VENUE Alfheim Stadion






Coming so soon after the thrashing at the Etihad, this may be a good chance for some of the players to show that that was a one off and they can prepare for Manchester United on Sunday with a good win.

There is no reason why they shouldn't, as a 3-0 home win in the group set up this situation, where a win will see Spurs top the group.  With all the players left at home, the team might look a bit weak, but with a sizeable support in the 6,000 crowd, Tottenham should produce enough to warm them and the fans at home, who will want to see a good response on Thursday and on Sunday to regain some of the hope the first nine Premier League games provided.

There was little in the Tromso side in the first game that should scare Spurs, but they will think that home advantage on an artificial pitch might unsettle Tottenham, but this needs a thoroughly professional performance fro the kick off and a return to the solidity shown early season.  The need to bag a few goals is also important, which should be attainable, as apart from a few breakaways, Tromso failed to cause Spurs many problems and the possession we enjoyed must be turned into goals.

I can foresee a win, with it giving a glimmer of hope in what will be a very different match on Sunday.

PREDICTION Tromso IL    0         Tottenham Hotspur    4
Paulinho, Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Sandro, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor have all been left behind, as AVB shuffles his squad ahead of the match with Manchester United on Sunday.  Spurs are still missing Danny Rose (foot) and Christian Eriksen (ankle).

ITV 4 - 19:00 (live)

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

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
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
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
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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.

Tromso IL  0 (0)                                                                              Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)
Premier League
Thursday 28th November 2013                                                                                                                    Kick off 18:00 (UK time)
Alfheim Stadion
Causevic (o.g.) 64
Dembele 76
Fojut (foul on Dembele) 89



Dawson (foul on Ondrasek) 51
Capoue (foul on Bendiksen) 55
Sodlado (foul on Bendikse) 56


Crowd :   6,000 Weather :  Cold, snowy in first half
Referee :  Yevhen Aranovskiy (UKR) Assistant Referees :  Oleksandr Voytyuk (UKR); Oleksandr Korniyko (UKR)
Fourth Official :  Volodymyr Volodin (UKR) Additional Assistant Referees :  Serhiy Boiko (UKR); Anatoliy Abdula (UKR)
Spurs kicked off the first half.
Tromso IL : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  -  Benny LEKSTROM

  3  Jaroslaw FOJUT     
6  Adnan CAUSEVIC  (o.g.)   (30  Runar ESPEJORD 71)
19  William FRANTZEN (14  Hans NORBYE 69)

8  Thomas BENDIKSEN (c) (28  Hendrik HELMKE 77)
  5  Morten MOLSKRED

10  Thomas DRAGE
13  Zdenek ONDRASEK

Unused subs: 
12  Frederik BAKKELUND
  Matihias JOHNSEN
16  Lars Gunnar JOHNSEN

  24  Brad FRIEDEL

20  Michael DAWSON (c)     
35  Zeki FRYERS (  5 Jan VERTONGHEN 72)

19  Mousa DEMBELE 
15  Etienne CAPOUE     

21  Nacer CHADLI (14 Lewis HOLTBY 72)
  Gylfi SIGURDSSON (33 Erik LAMELA 78)
17  Andros TOWNSEND

  9  Roberto SOLDADO     

Unused subs: 
47  Kenneth McEVOY
41  Shaquile COULTHIRST

Manager :  Steinar Nilsen Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas
Sponsor :   SparBanke Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  - Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

With all eyes on AVB, it was oh, so cold in Tromso as the four months of darkness fell today ... but who would it fall on ?  With the scribes having poisoned pens at the ready to formulate their reports, the letters from the Arctic Circle eventually spelled out something inconclusive for them and for Tottenham.  Qualification for the knock out stage had already been achieved and the race to top the group was not ever going to be closely contested, so this game saw Spurs manage to get a 2-0 win without freezing on the night.

As the snow fell on the artificial pitch, the tractors moved across it to remove the worst of the white stuff. But as it fell through the first 20 minutes, it slowed the ball's passage as Tottenham tried to pass it across the surface. Like snail trails, the path of the ball could easily be picked out against the green astro-turf.

After Sunday's nightmare start, Tromso almost caught Spurs out at the beginning of the match. A nice touch put Ondrasek through and with the Spurs defence caught on the turn, he was in on Friedel. Taking his shot early, he failed to make sure it was on target and it went a yard wide to waste a fine chance to make a fine start.

There were a couple of other chances for Tromso in the first ten minutes. Fryers did well to nick the ball away from Andersen and the home team were moving the ball about well, having the experience of playing on a surface where you have to turn and balance differently to playing on grass.

Eighteen minutes in, Spurs had a chance when Capoue almost gets onto the end of a Soldado flicked header from a corner. Then Dembele shot high, Townsend cut the ball back as he ran into the centre of the area for Sigurdsson to hit a low shot inches wide before Capoue had a shot deflected just wide as a Tromso defender tried to block it. Townsend then tested Benny Lekstrom by firing in a low shot that made the keeper dive to his left at the foot of his post and fumble the ball wide.

But despite the pressure, a goal did not come. A great chance to remedy that was when Gylfi played a perceptive pass from the centre of the pitch with the outside of his right foot to Chadli on the left, but the Belgian winger, with a clear run in on goal, smashed the ball hard but way over the goal and into the unoccupied seats behind the goal.

While Soldado was working away well, he was not getting the service he needs. Earlier in this competition, he showed that early, low balls into the corridor of uncertainty produced opportunities, which he could get on the end of and convert. Here he was frustrated by the ball being turned back behind them, when players got to the line.

At half time, with the Anzhi game with FC Sheriff having finished in a draw, it meant that Tottenham had won the group, so you hoped they might be a bit more relaxed to go out in the second period and play with a bit more freedom.

While there was a good passing start to the half, once more, Spurs failed to penetrate the Tromso defence and were caught conceding free-kicks around our box, which either went straight to Friedel or ended up in his arms from a free header. When Spurs did get into good positions, they were wasted. Townsend dumped Kristiansen on his backside, not an unusual place for the left back to be, before playing the ball across the box to Chadli. The winger brought the ball back inside and curled a shot a good few yards wide.

It seemed like the referee was conspiring to stop Spurs scoring. Soldado had been penalised for handball when the ball popped up off the surface and hit his chest before he set up Sigurdsson to score, which was ruled out.

However, when Gylfi robbed Andersen of the ball as he tried to shield it out of play, he turned into the box and looked to pick out a team-mate, but the referee pulled play back for a tug on the Icelander's shorts outside the area. Close to the dead ball line, Sigurdsson played a firm, low ball into the box and Chiriches went for it at the near post, but it was Causevic who came in behind him who steered the ball into his own goal from a couple of yards out.

In the 75th minute, Tottenham passed the ball out from the back and worked it up the right wing, between Townsend and Naughton, When the ball got near the box, substitute Lewis Holtby quickened it up to play in Sigurdsson on the edge of the area. Gylfi was aware that Dembele was inside of him and he took the ball, steadied himself and shot past Lekstrom to make it 2-0. It is the sort of position you want to see Mousa in more often, but during the preceding 74 minutes, he had looked lackadaisical and his control was loose.
Moments later he could have made it three, when he was played in 22 yards out and he took it early, poking it past the keeper but saw the ball come back off the foot of the left hand post. He got to the rebound to the right of the goal, but hit the shot into the side-netting with Sigurdsson free in the middle.

In added time a hopeful ball forward saw Dembele try to control the ball in his own box, fail to do so and it dropped for Andersen, who failed to take an immediate shot and the opening was gone. It was only left for Chiriches to make a run up the right wing, showing off his ability on the ball before the final whistle brought the end to a 2-0 win and another clean sheet and another Europa League win.

Not thrilling, but workmanlike and a win is a win. Such a repeat on Sunday might not be enough, but it will be a much changed side then, with much different opposition.

Winning the group has advantages, with a home game in the second leg of the round of 32, also allowing a weakened side to take the field against Anzhi in two weeks time.

Winning this game gives AVB a little bit of breathing space from the naysayers who want him gone. There is a tough run of games coming up, so the pressure might yet build on the Head Coach, but it is how the team respond to the set back at Manchester City.

Pete Stachio


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Other scores during this round of matches :
Group A
Swansea City 0 Valencia (SPA) 1 Thursday
Rubin Kazan (RUS) 4 St. Gallen (SWI) 0 Thursday
Group B
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group C
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group D
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group E
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group F
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group G
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group H
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group I
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group J
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
Group K
Anzhi Machachkala (RUS) 1 FC Sheriff (MOL) 1 Thursday
Group L
- (-) - - (-) - Thursday
- - - - Thursday
Kubar Krasnador (RUS) - - - Thursday
Wigan Athletic 1 Zulte Waregem (BEL) 2 Thursday





Europa League Group K Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Tottenham Hotspur 5 5 0 0 11 1 15 +10
2 Anzhi Machachkala 5 2 2 1 3 3 8 0
3 FC Sheriff 5 0 3 2 3 6 3 -3
4 IL Tromso 5 0 1 4 1 8 1 -7


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



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