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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v APOEL, 06.12.17

APOEL 0 Spurs 3, 26.09.17
Read the preview for our away game against APOEL
See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Spurs' record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
U.E.F.A Champions League
 P  W   D   L   F - A
23 11   5   7  43 - 29
European Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
8   4   1   3  21 - 13
(Semi-Finalists 1962)
European Cup Winners Cup
P   W   D   L   F - A
33  20  5   8  65 - 34
(Winners 1963)
UEFA Cup/Europa League
 P    W   D   L   F - A
140  78  36  26  276-121 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
  The club logo of APOEL 
P    W   D   L   F - A
204 113 47  44  405-197

Group H Table 
                P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts

1. Spurs        5  4  1  0 12-4   8  13
2. Real Madrid  5  3  1  1 14-5   9  10
3. Dortmund     5  0  2  3  5-10 -5   2
4. APOEL        5  0  2  3  2-14 -12  2 

APOEL will offer some threat tonight

Who would have dreamt when we were drawn in the same group as European Champions Real Madrid and German stars Borussia Dortmund that we would be playing a "dead rubber" game on Matchday 6? In fairness, it is a "dead rubber" game for us, but APOEL will be fighting to get something from the game in the hope of qualifying for the Europa League as a third placed team in our group. They and Dortmund are on two points, so the Cypriots need to better Dortmund's result (away to Real Madrid) to finish third. Dortmund have a better goal difference in the event of level points. The head to head results between these two teams were two 1-1 draws.

Spurs, of course, are assured of top place, whatever Real Madrid do, because our head to head against the Spaniards is the deciding factor, rather than goal difference.

Mauricio Pochettino has already confirmed that Dele Alli will start, which perhaps makes our team stronger than anticipated by a lot of observers who would like us to "play the kids". In truth "Poch" will probably feel morally obliged to field a strong team, on behalf of Dortmund. Defensively there is no need for our team to be radically weakened. Aurier and Rose will probably play at full back, and Davinson Sanchez is sure to start, as he will be getting an enforced rest for our next three league games after his red card at Watford on Saturday.

Who plays beside Sanchez, and whether that is one or two remains to be seen. APOEL played 4-2-3-1 in September, so maybe we will play four at the back again. Hopefully Juan Foyth will get an outing. So far we have seen him only in our Carabao Cup games. He certainly impressed against Barnsley. My fancy is that first team fringe players, rather than out and out youth will get an opportunity. Alderweireld and Wanyame remain out of consideration, and Erik Lamela was not named in the squad for the group phase, so he is ineligible. Pochettino has stated that striker Kazaiah Sterling and midfielder Luke Amos will be in the squad.

Harry Kane scored a perfect hat-trick out in Cyprus, and we missed a number of top players then, such as Eriksen, Dembele, Rose and Vertonghen. Dele was serving only the second match of his three-game suspension.

Spurs scored with their first three shots on target in Cyprus, and it should be remembered that the home side had shown some threat with left winger Aloneftis a persistent danger. APOEL hit the bar and also forced two good saves from Hugo Lloris. They had a better result away to Real Madrid than at home, losing 3-0 in The Bernebeu and 6-0 at home. Their domestic form has improved, and they have won their last five games, climbing to third place with two games in hand on those above them. APOEL will offer some threat tonight.

If you look in terms of minutes played so far this season, then you'd have to say that Lloris, Vertonghen, Dier, Eriksen and Kane are candidates to be rested tonight. Perhaps not all of them will be left out. You have to wonder where the creativity would come from if all those outfield players were missing.

Apart from guessing our team for tonight, we can start to guess who we will face in the Round of 16 in the New Year. We know after last night's games that we could face Basel, Bayern Munich (no thanks!) or Juventus. Tonight's games in the three other groups offer some intrigue as to who will qualify, and who will finish in second place. The one thing we do know, is we cannot face an English team in the next round. As things stand, we might yet face Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Shaktar, Napoli, Porto or Leipzig. The options will be known tonight and the Round of 16 draw takes place next Monday. As there is plenty of football tonight you could use this no deposit bonus if you fancy your powers of prediction.

Taking into account our poor recent form; the probable weakened team, and the absence of anything riding on the game from our point of view, it is difficult to be confident about the result, but I am still going to opt for a Spurs win (2-0).

Referee Slavko Vincic and his team of on-field officials are from Slovenia. We have not encountered this referee before. He recently took charge of Monaco v Porto, and has officiated at other high profile games across Europe over the last year, including Man City v Celtic on this date last year and a World Cup qualifier between Italy and Albania.

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - On this day in 1997, we lost to Chelsea. It was not a good day, but you might find the history interesting. Read Brian Judson's preview of that game.

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