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Spurs v Anorthosis Famagusta - 20.09.07

Last Year's Corresponding Game - Slavia Prague 0 Spurs 1
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Spurs record in Europe:-
The official crest of Tottenham Hotspur
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
P   W   D   L   F - A
68 43  14  11  153-52 

(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)

Total
P    W   D   L   F - A
109 67  20  22  239-99
The official crest of Anorthosis Famagusta FC A party of 189 officials, players and fans (including the pilot and co-pilot of their plane) of the Greek Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta FC flew to London this week, convinced that they can eliminate Tottenham Hotspur from the UEFA Cup and go on to the mini-league phase of Round Two. No doubt they will be backed up by numerous London-based Greek-Cypriot fans in the away end at White Hart Lane.

So determined are the Cypriot club to win, they opted out of the chance to play their home leg in a larger stadium, but will host Spurs in two weeks time in their "home" stadium at Larnaca, which will hold just 9,400 fans, and therefore less than 500 die-hard Spurs fans. Anorthosis Famagusta's true home lies on the wrong side of Turkish-occupied Cyprus, but they have been displaced for many years now. It is so hard to secure tickets for the away leg that even away season ticket holders cannot be guaranteed a place and they have been asked by the club to confirm their desire to attend. This reporter has opted out of travel for the away leg - partly for economic reasons, but also because he is convinced (unlike the Cypriots) that Spurs will do enough tomorrow to make this tie well and truly safe.

There are a couple of members of the Anorthosis Famagusta party who have experienced the winning feeling against Spurs. 31 year old Latvian striker Marians Pahars was a member of the Southampton squad between 1998/99 and 2005/06, playing against us between November 1999 and Deceember 2001, and experiencing Christmas wins in 2000 and 2001. Pahars was also a member of the Glenn Hoddle managed Saints' side that lost 7-2 to Gooner George Graham's Spurs in March 2000.

Anorthosis Famagusta FC manager Temuri Ketsbaia has been playing with the club for four years, but is familiar to Spurs fans through his association with Newcastle between 1997 and 2000. All in all, Ketsbaia took part in 8 games against Spurs, including the FA Cup semi-final of 1999, and the 1999 6-1 FA Cup defeat, when he was a substitute. Ketsbaia also had spells with Wolves and Dundee, before his return to Famagusta, where he had played in the early 1990s

Anorthosis Famagusta qualified for this year's UEFA Cup on the back of their domestic Cup win last season. They have had to negotiate two qualifying rounds to reach this stage, beating a Macedonian team - Vardar Skopje - 2-0 on aggregate, and then the Romanian side - CFR Cluj - 3-1 on aggregate, with all the goals scored in the away leg.

The Cypriots are feeling confident because they have 6 points from their only two league games so far with goals from Zlogar, Sosin, and Nicolaou. Slovakian striker Anton Zlogar would appear to be their main danger, with three goals in the Famugasta season so far. The visitors' squad is predominatly Greek and Cypriot, but there are also players from Albania (Goalkeeper Arian Beqaj), Rwanda (Defender Hamad Ndikumana), Brazil (Midfielder Fabhino, and Striker William Boaventura), not to mention Portugal, France, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.

Those who have played in both Famagusta's League games are goalkeeper Beqaj, defenders Lambrou, Ndikumana, and Nicolaou, midfielders Deyanov, Panagi, and Pouraitidis, and strikers Belic, Sosin, and Zlogar. No doubt we'll see a more defensive formation tomorrow.

We've got through a little more of our League programme this year, but once again the UEFA Cup provides a welcome opportunity for Spurs to improve their morale, with what ought to be a convincing win. The suggestion has been made that Jermain Defoe will find a place in this squad, but Martin Jol will not want to take too many risks with the strength of his side for this home leg.

I'd like to see Robbie Keane rested and Bent or Defoe line up beside Berbatov. I'd like to see an adventurous player on each flank and a bit more grit in the middle. I'd like to see a defence that can keep a clean sheet and a 4-0 victory for Spurs to enable me to smile about them a bit and to relax about the away leg.

What I'd like and what I get may be something completely different, but even if Spurs do win convincingly the pain and depression following last Saturday's defeat will not go away for a long time.

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