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Tottenham Hotspur v NK Maribor: Match Preview
Spurs are chasing their first European victory this season in Group J after drawing all three fixtures. NK Maridor travel to White Hart Lane, having earnded a point in the first leg.
Moussa Dembele, Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul will be unavailable for selection to AVB – who will be depserate to earn three points in hope of qualifcation to the latter stages of the tournament.
Emmanuel Adebayor will start his first game of the season tonight – with key games against Arsenal and Manchester City, AVB will want to ensure his striker is fit for the two keys which will prove crucial to Tottenhams top four ambitions. Jake Livermore could potentially start for Spurs, along side Huddlestone. Tom Huddlestone works better with a player in midfield with a 'bit of bite'.
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 and now NK Maribor Spurs sit third in Group J.
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: L D W L L
03/11/12 – Tottenham 0 – 1 Wigan
31/10/12 – Norwich 2 – 1 Tottenahm
28/10/12 – Southampton 1 – 2 Tottenham
25/09/12 – NK Maribor 1 – 1 Tottenham
20/09/12 – Tottenham 2 – 4 Chelsea
Tottenham are currently struggling for form lately. With one win in their last 5 games – they will be desperate for a result. A win tonight will push Tottenham to second in Group J – with AVB desperate to progress to the later stages of the competition he won with Porto.
Probable Line-Up: Lloris; Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen; Livermore, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Bale, Falque, Adebayor
Nk Maribor Last 5 Results: W D PST W L
03/11/12 – NK Maribor 1 – 2 Celje
31/10/12 - Zavrc 0 – 2 NK Maribor
28/10/12 - Domzale – Nk Maribor – POSTPONED
25/10/12 - NK Maribor 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur
20/10/12 – NK Maribor 1 – 0 Olimpija
NK Maribor will welcome back the 6ft 6 center back Jovan Vidociv. Vidovic is available for selection once again. The physical and imposing defender will be keen to make life difficult for Emmanuel Adebayor. And Nejc Ptookar is also available for selection after recovering from injury.
Maribor, meanwhile, are in a much better run of form. The Slovenians are on top of the PrvaLiga with 35 points from 15 games and have a three point (and two game) advantage over second placed Olimpija. They've won three of their last five games in the league and have lost just three times domestically.
Probable Line-Up: Handanovic; Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac; Cvijanovic, Filipovic, Mertelj, Ibraimi; Tavares; Beric
Predicted Score: - Nk Maribor 1 – 1 Tottenham
I'm going for a 1-1 draw for tonights game. Tottenham have drawn all three of their games this season in the Europa League. With the side still trying to flourish under the guidance of AVB. I expect Adebayor to get his first goal of the season – but all in all Spurs to have a very lacklustre performance. A draw will mean Spurs will stay third or possibly end up bottom of Group J.
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