Here we go again! Tottenham travel to face Partizan Belgrade this week in the Europa League group stages; starting that long European road once again.
After a long relationship with the Europa League, Tottenham find themselves under a manager that has formerly played in the competition (as well as publicly slate it), with Mauricio Pochettino the next coach to tackle the tournament. Under Sherwood, it seemed the opinionated coach was fond of the competition, with his touchline antics against Benfica highlighting a slight passion for Europe. His predecessor, Andre Villas-Boas; championed the contest. Taking the LilyWhites to the quarter-final stage in 2013, AVB was passionate about doing well in the “Champions League’s little brother,” and should Pochettino replicate this enthusiasm, we could be looking at some glory nights at the Lane once again. The play-off stage was a comfortable introduction for Pochettino, as his side saw off AEL Limassol.
Tottenham have scored at least 2 goals in 14 of their last 16 matches in UEFA Europa League. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Tottenham’s last 5 games in UEFA Europa League. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Partizan Belgrade’s last 3 games in UEFA Europa League.
Pochettino has rested Adebayor, Rose. Dembele, Chadli and Kaboul ahead of the tie. Striker Roberto Soldado confirmed via social media this week that he has returned to training, and could be in contention to play against Partizan. Vertonghen will face a late fitness test. Walker still absent.
Starting XI – Vorm; Naughton, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Stambouli, Bentaleb, Lennon, Paulinho, Townsend, Kane (4-2-3-1)
Score: Partizan Belgrade 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Picture via Zimbio.com