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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Wisla Krakow - 18.09.08

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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
78 48  17  13  171-62 

(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)

Total
P    W   D   L   F - A
119 72  23  24  257-109

Wisla Krakow's record in Europe so far this season The club badge of Wisla Krakow

Champions League Qualifiers

Beitar Jerusalem 2-1 Wisla Krakow (Q2/1)
Wisla Krakow 5-0 Beitar Jerusalem (Q2/2)
Barcelona 4-0 Wisla Krakow (Q3/1)
Wisla Krakow 1-0 Barcelona (Q3/2)

Wisla Krakow qualified for the UEFA Cup via this season's Champions' League. They won last season's Polish Championship, but were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Barcelona in the third qualifying round. Barcelona had won the first leg 4-0, and lost 1-0 in Poland. One assumes the Spaniards adopted a more relaxed attitude to the away leg. Mind you, Spurs have been guilty of that for most of the season so far!

Krakow are one of five teams sharing the current lead of their Championship with 10 points from 5 games - not helped by their 4-1 home defeat last Sunday to Lech Poznan. The teams fielded by the Poles for this game and that against Barcelona were not significantly different.

The Krakow team was founded in 1906, but has only been known as Wisla Krakow after World War Two. They have won their League title five times this decade, and eleven times in all. Their last season in Europe was two years ago, when they reached the Round Two Group stage, but lost three and won only one of those games. The teams who beat them included Blackburn (2-1 away), and Feyenoord.

The Krakow squad is predominantly Polish. Their top scorer in their five league games is Pawel Brozek, who scored an additional two goals in their earlier Champions League qualifier against Beitar Jerusalem. Last season, Brozek scored 23 league goals. he is a Polish International, but has not played for his country since March. 24 year old attacker Rafal Boguski might be another to watch out for, as he has scored in his last two games.

Krakow have a Brazilian Central defender - Cleber - also known to weigh in with a goal or two. He is in his third season with the Poles. Another Polish International is midfielder Marek Zienczuk, who scored 16 league goals in 28 games last season, but has yet to hit the net this term.

Spurs' first ever opponents in a European Competitive game, Gornik Zabreze, still play in the Polish First Division. To the best of my knowledge this will be only our second competitive game against Polish opposition. We played Gornik in the European Cup campaign of 1961-62, when we reached a semi-final which older fans will tell you included the best game ever seen at White Hart Lane. That was the night we lost on aggregate to Bwnfica, but beat them 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Gornik beat us 4-2 on their territory. We were 4-0 down at one stage, but Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson reduced the deficit. It was on 20th September, 1961 that Spurs beat the Poles 8-1 at White Hart Lane to march through to the next round. Our scorers were Danny Blanchflower, Cliff Jones (3), John White, Bobby Smith (2) and Terry Dyson.

Spurs and their fans must hope for a great win tomorrow night. It is vital for the morale of the team, and the fans to record that first win of the season. Mind you, a league win on Sunday is also urgently needed, but for the moment, Juande Ramos will be looking to carry a significant lead to Poland to ensure qualification for the next phase, which will bring financial benefits for the club.

Whether or not that can be achieved and with what team, none of us know. Luka Modric sustained a knee in jury on Monday night and will miss out, whilst Alan Hutton is not yet ready to return. This means that Gunter is likely to be at right back, and surely Jenas will start this game. Giovani too must be a favourite to start, and due to Pavlyuchenko being cup-tied (along with Corluka), Fraizer Campbell could play beside Darren Bent.

I'll go for a 3-1 win which would keep us on tenterhooks for the away leg in two weeks' time.

See you there!

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