NK Maribor v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview
Spurs are chasing their first European victory this season in Group J after drawing both of their first two fixtures. A trip to NK Maridor waits AVB and his men – who are more than up for the challenge.
Tottenham were unbeaten in their last nine games prior to the game at White Hart Lane against Chelsea – and AVB will be keen to re-boost the morale of his side for what is meant to be a successful season for the London club.
Hugo Lloris will continue his European appearance's for Spurs tonight – in the transistion AVB is putting in place to cement the Frenchman as his number one goalkeeper.
Following draws with Lazio and Panathinaikos, Spurs sit third in Group J going into the double-header fixtures against NK Maribor.
AVB said: “I think these two games with Maribor is going to be the decisive point of the group phase – a point will not be a bad result as it will keep us tight with Maribor.”
Dark Milanic, coach at Maribor knows his side will be massive underdogs for the tie against Spurs but believes that stranger things have happened in football than his side causing an upset tonight. His side currently sit second in the table – with three points. Having beaten Greek side Panathinkaikos 3-0 at home.
Tottenham Last 5 Results: W W D W L
20/10/12 – Tottenham 2 – 4 Chelsea
07/10/12 – Tottenham 2 – 0 Aston Villa
04/10/12 – Panathinaikos 1 – 1 Tottenham
29/09/12 – Man Utd 2 – 3 Tottenham
26/09/12 – Carlisle 0 – 3 Tottenham
With one defeat in their last nine games – Tottenham come into this game with great form. AVB will be keen to re-lift the spirits of his side after that defeat to Chelsea – and a decent result in Europe will do wonders for the side.
Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson said: “We want to bounce back after the game against Chelsea as well as three points will be very important to us – after the game we were obviously a bit low and dissapointed because I thought we bounced back at half-time and got back into the game in the second half.”
Probable Line-Up: Lloris; Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen; Livermore, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Dempsey, Lennon, Defoe
Nk Maribor Last 5 Results: W L L W W
20/10/12 – NK Maribor 1 – 0 Olimpija
07/10/12 – Tiglav 1 – 0 NK Maribor
04/10/12 – Lazio 1 – 0 Nk Maribor
30/09/12 – NK Maribor 1 – 0 Mura 05
26/09/12 – Koper 2 – 3 NK Maribor
Manager Milanic has a few injury problems ahead of Spurs' visit, notably to his defensive options. The Slovenians will have to do without Jovan Vidovic, who was shown the red card in the last round of games and, worse still Nejc Potokar, who would have covered for him, was injured in the game against Panathinaikos.
The good news is Brazilian defender Arghus is ready to return from his suspension and will probably slot straight into the centre of defence. NK Maribor will be without defender Nejc Potokar and midfielder Rajko Rep through injury.
Probable Line-Up: Handanovic; Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac; Cvijanovic, Filipovic, Mertelj, Ibraimi; Tavares; Beric
Predicted Score: - Nk Maribor 0 – 2 Tottenham
I'm going for a 2-0 win for the London side. AVB will see these two fixtures agianst Maribor as two ideal oppurtunities to take six points from six in their Europa League qualification journey. AVB knows how to win The Europa League – and will see the Europa League as an ideal opppurtunity to cement his legacy in Tottenham Hotspur history.
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