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Europa League

Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Besiktas

Without a win in two Premier League matches, Tottenham will be looking to finish the Europa League group stages on a high when they travel to Turkey to face a tough Besiktas side, who will be missing their key striking asset Demba Ba, the attacker out with a broken toe. Besiktas need a win to top the group, whilst Spurs only need a point to progress as group winners. The last time these two met was in the reverse fixture when a late Vlad Chiriches handball resulted in Demba Ba converting from the spot to earn a 1-1 draw. Here is the Tottenham team news and predicted line-up.

Team News:

Emmanuel Adebayor is the only player who is out for sure after he was allowed to return home on compassionate leave, he will be out for a few weeks. Kyle Walker could make his return after not playing since 13th March. Vlad Chiriches, who gave away the late penalty in the reverse fixture, is a doubt along with Etienne Capoue and Andros Townsend, who could all face late fitness tests. Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, Kyle Naughton and Christian Eriksen will all be rested.

Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1):

Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm:

I think that we just need to give Vorm some minutes and some playing experience for us. With Brad Friedel not in the squad and Luke McGee not really in the first-team picture, this is a great time for Vorm to start ahead of Lloris, who faces a busy schedule over the festive period.

Defence: Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Vlad Chiriches, Ben Davies:

With Kyle Naughton rested for this match, Kyle Walker could well make his first start in nine months. Walker has been getting back to full fitness after he was injured in March, and underwent abdominal surgery early this season. Jan Vertonghen has been in a good run of form, so should get a start as we do not want to concede too many to keep our bid of topping the group alive. Vlad Chiriches has also been playing well and could get a start in his natural position.

Midfield (Holding): Benjamin Stambouli, Mousa Dembele:

It is safe to say that Mauricio Pochettino will not be fielding a very attacking line-up and will most likely be reverting to his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, and having to men in front of the defence, and I feel that these two are the perfect men to occupy these positions.

Midfield (Attacking): Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Erik Lamela:

Whilst it has not quite clicked in the Premier League, in cup competitions, Erik Lamela’s form is quite good. I expect he will get another run out with Europa League regular Paulinho. Nacer Chadli has missed the last few games, and this will be a good game to ease him back into ahead of a very busy festive period.

Striker: Roberto Soldado:

This is about the only position that I can confirm. Soldado is the only travelling striker as Harry Kane is rested and Emmanuel Adebayor is on compassionate leave. This is a good game for Soldado to build on that goal that he got a couple of weeks ago against Everton at the end of November.

Spurs Through On Disjointed Night At The Lane- Player Ratings: Spurs 1-0 Partizan Belgrade

Benjamin Stambouli snatched his first goal in a Spurs shirt to seal the side’s progression into the knockout stages of the Europa League on a disjointed night at the Lane.

After a largely dull first half an hour in which only Roberto Soldado had a sight of goal, the players were taken from the pitch for security reasons as Partizan pitch invaders ran riot on 3 separate occasions.

Fears of abandonment soon blew over and just 4 minutes into the second half Stambouli reacted quickest to Soldado’s shot which rebounded off the post and into the Frenchman’s path.

Hugo Lloris sprang into action late on as Stambouli and Lamela became wasteful in front of goal, but the slender lead was enough to see Spurs into the last 24 of the competition, with 8 Champions League dropouts to join the progressed sides.

Player Ratings

Hugo Lloris 7 – Earned his clean sheet with a superb diving save to deny Partizan from a late set-piece. Was calm in distributing the ball to Davies and Naughton and was once again an assured captain.

Kyle Naughton 6 – Had a spring in his step going forward which papered over the few poor touches Naughton was guilty of. Delivery was still very much an issue with none of his crosses finding targets.

Jan Vertonghen 7 – Was on high alert playing next to Vlad Chiriches but was looked smooth amongst the tough conditions. Finished with a brilliant 97% pass completion.

Vlad Chiriches 6 – Always keeps you on your toes this one! Has his odd “moment” but Vlad wasn’t punished as such tonight. Certainly a skilful player but application is the issue, with his cameo at right-back a much more risk-free strategy.

Ben Davies 6 – A very safe option at left-back but was given a tough time by Grbić on the wing. Again his delivery wasn’t up to scratch but some of his passing inside was impressive, particularly with Lamela.

Mousa Dembele 5 – Same old story, didn’t manage to assert himself in a position he can hold down. Substituted not long after half time having played neither as a defensive or creative midfielder.

Benjamin Stambouli 7 – I was impressed by Stambouli who gets my Man of the Match tonight. Aside from scoring his first goal for the club – which certainly should have been joined by his second – Stambouli showed some great skill and most of all composure on the ball. Definitely a shout for Sunday’s game with Ryan Mason.

Aaron Lennon 6 – Was generally effective providing the width when out on the right but weirdly, his best moments all came from the left. Not an “inverted winger” in any way shape or form but his throughballs for Kane and Soldado sliced Partizan in two.

Erik Lamela 6 – Very promising from the Argentine who was typically full of running but was once again so close yet so far. Saw a brilliant effort – his 6th of the game – tipped over in the dying moments and hit the post too.

Paulinho 6 – Surprisingly energetic but still far from the number 10 Pochettino need to fit his system. Sort of like a Labrador, running around playing the odd pass but with an inept sense of tactics.

Roberto Soldado 7 – I don’t care what anybody says this guy had a great game tonight. The worries can flow when Soldado doesn’t find himself in the positions to score but tonight he was always on hand and is forever unlucky. Sad to see him substituted before he found the net.


Nabil Bentaleb 6 – An assured return from injury, Good to see him back.

Harry Kane 6 – Looking more and more our best attacking option. Definitely looked a class above when he came on with some brilliant footwork and deserved a penalty.

Harry Winks N/a – Heartwarming to see the 18-year-old get such a huge reception. Another one!

Although the game was all-in-all fairly comfortable (with the odd lapse in concentration), it would have been nice to see us smash a side out of the ground for once.

True, sides like Partizan who come to the Lane and sit back do encourage a lacklustre game of attrition, but we should surely have enough quality in our squad to patiently work the opportunities?

On the upside, our trip away at Besiktas now holds only the challenge of finishing as group-toppers and it would be a great chance to see the likes of Winks and Ball get a proper run-out.

Onwards! COYS


‘He’s Improving’: Fans React To 1-0 Win Over Parizan Belgrade

Tottenham advanced to the knockout stages of the Europa League after they picked up a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade courtesy of a Benjamin Stambouli goal in the second half. Whilst there was praise for the summer signing, praise was also flooding in for Argentine Erik Lamela, who also put in a very promising performance. Although Roberto Soldado put in a good performance, made the runs and put in the effort, he failed to find that goal that will boost his confidence when he finds it. Here is how Twitter reacted to our 1-0 win.

Next week, we will find out an awful lot about Tottenham Hotspur  this season with life under Mauricio Pochettino. We face an in-form Everton on Sunday, and then we face a very tough trip to Stamford Bridge, where we will face unbeaten Chelsea. Whilst many will be thinking about avoiding embarrassment, some may be thinking that we should give these two fixtures a really good go.

Tottenham Team News And Predicted Lineup To Face Partizan

After a late dramatic win at the KC Stadium, Tottenham’s next test comes against Partizan Belgrade. Things have not been going too well for Mauricio Pochettino at this moment in time, and this is a very good chance to get things back on track. Last time these two side met in Partizan, the game ended in a 0-0 draw. Here is the team news and predicted line-up.

Team News: 

Many players remain sidelined for our match against Partizan and that includes Kyle Walker, who has returned to training, but is still a couple of weeks away from a return. A whole host of players that missed Sunday’s clash with Hull are expected to remain out. These include Emmanuel Adebayor, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue. Spurs will also be missing Danny Rose and Andros Townsend. Federico Fazio is suspended heading into this match. Nabil Bentaleb is also set to make his first start in over a month.

Predicted Line-up: (4-2-3-1):

Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm

Hugo Lloris has been in fantastic form himself, and there was nothing at all he could do about the goal on Sunday. However, I feel Michel Vorm will start ahead of the Frenchman due to rotational reasons.

Defence: Kyle Naughton, Eric Dier, Vlad Chiriches, Ben Davies:

I know it is not the strongest defence that Mauricio Pochettino has fielded this season, but I feel that it will do the job adequately. I can’t wait to see how Eric Dier gets on in the heart of the defence, as he has been played on the right side a lot this season. It will also be interesting to see how Chiriches gets on in the centre if he gets a start after playing forty-five minutes at right-back, and you have to say that he played decently.

Midfield (Holding): Benjamin Stambouli, Nabil Bentaleb: 

Nabil Bentaleb is back from injury, and could well make his first start in over a month, and could form a new partnership with Benjamin Stambouli. Since sning from Montpellier, Stambouli has not started a Premier League game, and I think he deserves a chance in the Premier League, and he could let Pochettino know with a good performance.

Midfield (Attacking): Aaron Lennon, Paulinho, Erik Lamela: 

With many key players out, this will be a big, big night for Aaron Lennon and Paulinho, who will both most likely get the chance to impress Mauricio Pochettino. Lennon has impressed in cup competitions, and put in a couple of great crosses against Hull on Sunday. Once again, this is a night for Erik Lamela to get his confidence up with a goal or two.

Forward: Roberto Soldado: 

I feel that Harry Kane will be rested for next Sunday’s match against Everton, and with Emmanuel Adebayor injured, that leaves Roberto Soldado to start up top by himself. He can link up the play very well, and like Lamela, this is a good night to get some goals to his name.

‘Soldado Is Poor’: Fans React To 2-1 Win Over Asteras Tripolis

Tottenham held on for a well-earned win on Greece over Asteras Tripolis, with Harry Kane bagging yet another goal to his ever increasing tally. Whilst there was praise for the young Englishman, there is a lot of criticism heading Roberto Soldado’s way after he came on at half-time, and yet again struggled to make an impact on the match, creating little to make up for his poor form in front of goal. Paulinho was also a target for stick, whilst the sent off Federico Fazio was a point of debate. Here is how Twitter reacted to our win in Greece.

That last tweet is also a very interesting one. Does Pochettino need a couple of transfer windows to build the squad again? Does he have the right players to play the style he wants? Is the quality of our players good enough? These are all questions that are to be answered very, very soon.

Kane Shines Again- Player Ratings: Asteras Tripolis 1-2 Tottenham

Tottenham survived a late scare to overcome Asteras Tripolis in the Premier League. Harry Kane scored again for Spurs as Federico Fazio picked up another red card in the closing stages of the match. Here are the individual player ratings.

Michel Vorm- 7

Saved well when he needed to and swept up expertly, could’ve maybe saved the penalty but otherwise did well

Ben Davies- 7

Often had a lot of room on the left and did well, passing was very good and produced several good attacks down the left flank early on

Jan Vertonghen- 6

Struggled against the long ball over the top, and especially in the second half he was caught out of position numerous times when the ball came high

Federico Fazio- 6

Also struggled with the long balls, gave away a needless penalty, not much contact but it still put us under pressure late on

Eric Dier- 6

Didn’t do much wrong defensively but was very cautious going forward, looks lost at Right-Back, would surely be better in the Centre of defence

Mousa Dembele- 6

Sometimes excellent with his distribution of the ball but often went missing too many times during the game

Benjamin Stambouli- 7

Kept us very solid in the midfield in the first half, very rarely wasted the ball and won most of his tackles, good display

Erik Lamela- 7

Was effective on both wings, created some good runs, often wasted the final ball when better options were available to him

Andros Townsend- 7

When he switched wings, he delivered some good crosses which troubled Asteras, pace was effective and he took his penalty superbly well

Christian Eriksen- 6

Again, didn’t have a great influence on the game, couldn’t create any chances, passing and fluidity on the ball was better tonight

Ryan Mason- 7

Once again, it was a great performance from Mason coming from the bench, he looked one of our best midfielders and showed why he is a Premier League regular.

Paulinho- 6

Paullinho was sent on with instructions to stay solid and close out the game, no impact was made by the Brazilian.

Roberto Soldado- 6

He had a whole half to get into the game, but he struggledd to have an impact on the game throughout the 45 minutes that he was on the field.

Harry Kane- 8

Another very good showing from Harry, constant threat in our attacks, neatly taken goal as well, must start vs Stoke on Sunday, keep it up, Harry!

Tottenham Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Asteras Tripolis

Off the back of a Capital One Cup victory over Brighton, Tottenham got back to winning ways on Sunday when Harry Kane fired in a deflected free-kick in the 90th minute to beat Aston Villa. This time, it is the Europa League for Spurs, making that three competitions in three games for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. We face Asteras Tripolis, who Erik Lamela has fond memories of facing, famously scoring a rabona in a 5-1 win. Here is the Spurs team news and predicted line-up.

Team News: 

Many players have not made the trip to Asteras, all of Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton and Nabil Bentaleb are all still in London. Hugo Lloris is out through suspension after picking up a red card last time out against Asteras. As we know, Kyle Walker is a long-term absentee.

Predicted Line-Up: (4-2-3-1) 

Goalkeeper: Michel Vorm: 

Vorm is set to make his first European start for Tottenham after Lloris picked up a red card last time out in Europe, and Brad Friedel has been left in London. That now makes Vorm almost an odds on certainty to start against Asteras as he aims to impress Pochettino with a clean-sheet here.

Defence: Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio, Ben Davies: 

This selection is mainly due to squad rotation, giving Fazio a run-out in the starting line-up following his suspension, and with no Younes Kaboul, it is possible that Jan Vertonghen will take the captain’s armband for the night. It will be interested to see how Eric Dier gets on after his nightmare against Newcastle as he is likely to start as Kyle Naughton has been left at home. Ben Davies has admitted it has been tough so far at Spurs, and wants to push for a Premier League start, and he has the perfect chance to do this tonight.

Midfield (Holding): Benjamin Stambouli, Mousa Dembele: 

After a poor series of performances from Etienne Capoue, this could be the perfect chance to capitalise on this by putting in a good performance. If anybody, Stambouli could take his place if Pochettino chooses to leave him out as Stambouli a prepared more to sit back and protect the defence. He will have to play well to stay up the pecking order ahead of Nabil Bentaleb.

Midfield: (Attacking): Andros Townsend, Roberto Soldado, Christian Eriksen: 

I feel that Pochettino must start Roberto Soldado in the number ten role if he wishes to continue this trend. It will get him used to playing the position, and it will hopefully boost his confidence and he can start finding the net again. Christian Eriksen was out of form against Villa, hence being substituted at half-time. This is a good chance for Eriksen to rediscover his form, and Pochettino could try him out on the left to see if he can do the same as he did under Tim Sherwood.

Striker: Harry Kane: 

Harry simply must start up front for Spurs on Thursday night. The only reason for not starting him would be resting him for our home clash with Stoke on Sunday. Emmanuel Adebayor could start up top on his own, but I feel that Harry needs another start to keep racking up the goals and improving his tally for this season. If Soldado starts, then it would be a perfect time to try out this partnership between the Spaniard and Kane.