Match: Thursday 24th October 2013. Kick off 6pm, live on ITV 4.
The games come thick and fast and so do the air miles when you’re in the Europe. We visit Moldova to face Sheriff at the Complexul Sheriff Stadium. We are in a great position in our group, winning our first two games against Tromsø and Anzhi convincing with five goals and two clean sheets; fairly straight forward games , and I expect our game against Sheriff to be no different. The team we have should be too much to handle for the Moldovan champions, even if they are on their home turf. We have had a good start to the season, with only two losses and a draw in thirteen games, so we need to keep winning to help the team gel even more, and keep that winning feeling around the dressing room. The Europa League is a trophy we want to win. We want to win every game we play, this is a game we need to keep focused and put in a professional performance to get the three points. We shouldn’t be troubled too much by the opposition.
FC Sheriff are a team who are used to winning games, so won’t be short of confidence, they sit at the top of the Moldovan League winning 9 games, drawing 2 and losing only 1 in 12 games. They failed in their Champions League play-off game, losing out to Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 on aggregate, which was an expected result. In their last game they drew 1-1 away from home in the Moldovan league to Zimbru, who sit sixth, this is a result that will undoubtedly disappoint them, not a great result coming into the game, whereas we are full of confidence after our 2-0 away win against Aston Villa. Sheriff’s goals tend to come from midfield, with 5 strikers only getting 4 goals between them. The players who they will look to utilise are Brazilian midfielders Jhuilliam, who has seven goals in nine appearances, and Cadû, who has six goals in nine apperances. These are players who given time on the ball, or a chance in the box, could hurt us.
The team we put out is hard to predict, as the squad we have is so deep, and AVB likes to change it up in the Europa League, although still playing a strong team. We have a host of players on the way back from injuries, two players returning to action are Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor. These players could be big assets to the team, Adebayor offers something different to Soldado and Defoe with his ariel threat and ability to hold up the ball, which Defoe is unable to do, and he’s probably better at it than Soldado. I’d expect Adebayor to get some minutes in Moldova, but I’d expect Defoe to start. Aaron Lennon is a hugely important squad player, he’s direct and can get some great balls into the box of which Soldado, Defoe and Adebayor thrive off, he was great last season and it’s good to have him back. I expect him to start. It’s widely documented that Erik Lamela, our record signing, isn’t getting a lot of game time, but he is settling into life at Spurs, and for someone as young as him, he needs time. I’m very confident he’ll be amazing for us, a great player, with phenomenal ability, I think he could start in the number 10 role against Sheriff. Kyle Naughton at RB and Ezequiel Fryers at LB is who I would prefer at full-back, Kyle Walker being left in London and Danny Rose still not being fit.
My predicted/preferred team to face FC Sheriff at the Complexus Sheriff Stadium in the Europa League:
Naughton – Dawson – Chiriches – Fryers
Dembele – Sandro
Lennon – Lamela – Chadli
It should be a good game for Spurs fans to see players returning into the frame, expecting goals, and lots of them! Hopefully we continue our impressive run of clean sheets at the back too. It’s an early kick off at 6pm, so get back from work on time! Follow @AddictedtoSpurs on twitter for updates on the game, videos of the goals, and pictures from the game. COYS!!