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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Dnipro, 27.02.14

Last week's match report - Dnipro 1 Spurs 0
Last week's match preview - Focus on the managers
See the current injury list for all Premiership 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
12   5   3   4  25 -19
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
115  67  29  19  236-92 
(Winners 1972, 1984
 Finalists 1974)
P    W   D   L   F - A
168 96  38  34  345-158
The club logo of FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

All set up for an exciting night

Thanks to the first of two quite inept team performances last week, and the 1-0 deficit from our first leg in Ukraine, tomorrow night's match is set up for excitement for those who make the trip to White Hart Lane.

The team news is not great for Spurs. The club has said that both Capoue (who went off so early in the Norwich game) and now Danny Rose, have sustained injuries (ankle and knee respectively), which keep them on the sidelines. Worse still, Younes Kaboul, Kyle Walker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Vlad Chiriches and the long-term absentee Erik Lamela are also unavailable.

Whilst the team news did not indicate it, the BBC website says that Jermain Defoe will also take no part, but will say farewell to the fans at half-time. Jermain will stay fifth on the all-time list of Spurs goal-scorers in all competitive games, with 143 goals. Very few of those have been tap-ins, have they? Thanks Jermain for all the goals over the last 10 years!

The back four picks itself then, with the paucity of players available, and will be Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen and Fryers. It would seem that Andros Townsend's late introduction for Rose on Sunday was not purely tactical, and for the benefit of Tottenham critics, Andros has played at full back at junior levels for Spurs, so could cover on the left or the right.

It's not an ideal scenario, of course, but the good news is that Sandro is back in the squad, so hopefully he will start. Will Bentaleb be rested? We'll have to wait and see. I suspect we'll see Lennon, Paulinho and Dembele behind Adebayor. There might even be a case for one of Tim's gung-ho 4-4-2 games with Soldado starting too.

Last week's defeat ended a run of 8 consecutive victories in Europe this season. Dnipro scored only the third goal we have conceded in 9 games, in which we have scored 23 goals.

We lost to Basel on a penalty shoot-out in last year's quarter-final, having drawn 2-2 at home and away. The last Europa League game we actually lost was the horrible 4-1 away defeat to Inter, where an extra-time goal was enough to secure our passage on the away goals rule.

As you can see from the above table of our European history, over the years we have only ever lost 19 out of 115 UEFA Cup/Europa League games, and 34 of our total of 168 European games. Very, very few of those have been at home.

Considering our form in the last two games, our task tomorrow is certainly not going to be easy, and an early goal will be oh so crucial. Let's hope it doesn't go to the Ukrainian side.

I do think that we will win on the night, but I think there could be some tension, with Dnipro quite capable of scoring. I'll go for a 3-1 home win on the night, which will make it 3-2 on aggregate. Whoever goes through will face either Benfica or PAOK. Benfica are at home tomorrow, and already 1-0 up, so it could be a trip to Lisbon to re-live the famous 1962 European Cup semi-final, with memories of Portugal's famous son Eusebio, who sadly recently died.

I'm not counting any chickens mind, which means I haven't gambled on booking my travel to Portugal!

Tomorrow's referee will be Antony Gautier, and all the officials are from France.

On this day 1999, Tim Sherwood scored his first league goal for Spurs in a 1-1 draw at Derby.

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