Tottenham face an old manager when they visit FC Dnipro Dnirpopetrovsk in the Europa league last 32 and attempt a difficult away fixture in an adventurous environment, considering the conditions in Ukraine at the moment.
Spurs underwent an unbeaten Group stage in which they only conceded one goal in their 6 victories. Dnipro finished four points behind Fiorentina in Group E thanks to four victories and two defeats.
We last faced Ukrainian opposition in the Europa League during the 2008-09 season, when Shakhtar Donetsk beat us over two legs in the round of 32. We lost the away leg 2-0 on February 19, 2009, before drawing 1-1 at the Lane a week later, meaning we went out 3-1 on aggregate. Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembélé has played again Dnipro before. He was part of the Fulham side which beat them 3-1 over two legs in the Europa League play-off round in 2011. Mousa was a 67th minute substitute in the first leg – a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage – before starting the return match in Ukraine, which Fulham lost 1-0.
Facts about Dnipro (via @SpursOfficial)
One of the club’s biggest rivals is Metalist Kharkiv. Dnipro are currently managed by former Spurs boss and two-time UEFA Cup winner Juande Ramos. Their home kit is all blue with white trim, with the opposite – all white with blue trim – for their away strip. The club took on the name Dnipro following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Dnipro is the name of the biggest river in Ukraine.
The team was known originally as BRIT, but after it was disbanded due to World War I, a new team which would become known as Petrovets was formed in Dnipropetrovsk in May, 1925. After World War II, the club merged with Dynamo Dnipropetrovsk and until 1961 it become known as Metalurh. After the team was handed over to a new sponsor, it became known as Dnepr – a name with Russian influences.
Injury wise, Danny Rose could return for the visitors following a minor knock, while Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro and Vlad Chiriches remain sidelined. Roberto Soldado and Michael Dawson both have a chance of a recall.
Predicted team: Friedel, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Fryers, Bentaleb, Capoue, Townsend, Chadli, Eriksen, Soldado (4-4-2)
Predicted score: Dnipro 0-5 Spurs.