FC SHERIFF TIRASPOL
White Hart Lane, London
07 November, 20:05 BST
Tottenham Hotspur host Moldavian side FC Sheriff at White Hart Lane, as the London club look to secure their place in the next round of the Europa League with a win.
The last match between these two sides ended in a 2-0 win for Tottenham, as Jan Vertonghen and Jermaine Defoe scored for the away side. But the home side were a bit unlucky to have lost by that score line as they put up a wonderful performance against a strong opponent. In fact Sheriff had more attempts on goal than Spurs, and if only they could have managed to add a bit of quality in front of goal, they could have gotten something out of that game. Sheriff will look to avenge that defeat with a good result in London, but Tottenham are strong at home and will make it difficult for them.
A lot was expected of Tottenham this season following their busy summer, and they have made a good start to the season so far. Spurs are currently fourth in the league table, five points behind league leaders Arsenal. Despite their good start initially, Spurs have dropped some points in recent times, winning only two of their last five league matches. They are coming into this fixture on the back of a 0-0 draw against Everton at Goodison Park.
Tottenham Hotspur are favourites to win the group and the London club are currently leading the points table with three victories in their opening three Europa League matches. Anzhi look like the only club who could challenge them in this group at the moment. But Tottenham can confirm their place in the next round with a win in this game.
Andre Villas Boas will be without Nacer Chadli, Emmanuel Adebayor and Danny Rose for this match due to injuries, while there are also doubts about the fitness of Kyle Naughton. Tottenham have fielded a completely different side in the Europa League matches so far and Andre Villas Boas will continue to rotate his squad ahead of this game. The Portuguese manager is expected to make as many as nine changes to the side that was fielded against Everton in the weekend.
Friedel will return to the side, while Younes Kaboul will replace Michael Dawson at the center of the defence. Jan Vertonghen will be rested in this game as well with Ezekiel Fryers starting at left back. Etienne Capoue will make his way back into the starting eleven after his long injury lay-off and he will start alongside Mousa Dembele in the pivot ahead of the defence.
The front four that started against Everton will be completely changed. Sigurdsson, Eriksen and Lamela will provide the creativity behind Jermaine Defoe, who will replace Soldado upfront. Jermaine Defoe has been in fine form in the Europa League this season and has already scored four goals in this tournament this season. He would hope provide the goals once again, something which Spurs have lacked in the league.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Friedel (GK); Walker, Chiriches, Kaboul, Fryers; Dembele, Capoue; Lamela, Sigurdsson; Defoe
FC Sheriff Tiraspol
FC Sheriff have made a brilliant start to their season and are currently leading the Moldova top division with a seven points advantage over second placed Costuleni. The Tiraspol side have lost just once in their last fourteen matches in all competitions, and that defeat came in their last encounter against Tottenham. They are coming into this game on the back of wonderful victory against Rapid Ghidighici as Ismail Isa scored late winner.
Sheriff Tiraspol are currently third in the league points table of Group K, seven points behind Tottenham Hotspur. Sheriff prime concern at the moment is to grab the second qualification spot behind the London side. Russia side Anzhi are currently two points above Sheriff and match-up between these two sides is likely to decide the final standings of this group.
Manager Veaceslav Rusnac doesn’t have any major injury concern to contain with ahead of this fixture, but the Moldavian side will be without 29-year-old defender Melli, who will be surviving his suspension in this match. Rusnac is unlikely to make any changes to the side that started against Tottenham at the Sheriff Stadium.
Ismail Isa, who came off the bench to score the winner against Rapid Ghidighici, will start in this game. The 24-year-old is yet to score in the Europa League, and will look to open his account at White Hart Lane. Kobi Moyal, who put up a good display in the midfield during the last meeting between these two sides, and he along with Stanojevic will once again be crucial in restricting Tottenham’s dominance in the game.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Tomic (GK); Paye, Samardzic, Metoua, Balima; Moyal, Stanojevic; Luvannor, Cadu, Cavalcante; Isa
Players to watch out for: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham); Kobi Moyal (Sheriff)
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sheriff Tiraspol