Tottenham - Panathinaikos Preview: Unbeaten Spurs seek Europa League progression
Andre Villas-Boas' side have yet to be defeated in Europe this season and face off against the Greek team, who have not registered an away win in the competition
By Simon Sinclair
Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton
Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Townsend
Vyntra, Seitaridis, Velasquez, Spiropolous
Christodoulopolous, Vitolo, Mavrias, Zeca
Andre Villas-Boas will be without long-term absentees Scott Parker (achilles), Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (both knee) as well as Gareth Bale (hamstring). Michael Dawson (hamstring) will also miss the game, while senior players such as William Gallas, Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey may be rested, allowing young players Andros Townsend and Kyle Naughton rare starts.
Visiting coach Juan Roman Rocha has a fully-fit squad from which to choose and Panathinaikos should be relatively similar from their victory over Panionios on Sunday.
Spanish striker Toche could be recalled to lead the line, with Ibrahim Sissoko playing just behind him. Their experienced back line should be unchanged, with Giourkas Seitaridis partnering Jose Velazquez, though Andre Pinto could also feature in defence.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Tottenham are unbeaten in their five Europa League matches this season, winning once and drawing four times.
Jermain Defoe (pictured right) is Spurs' leading scorer in Europe this season with three goals. Only Michael Dawson and Gylfi Sigurdsson have also found the net in the competition for the north Londoners so far.
Defoe is 11/4 with William Hill to score the first goal in this game.
Tottenham can secure qualification to the next round of the competition with a draw; however, a win and a loss for Lazio against Maribor would see them through as Group J winners.
Panathinaikos have beaten English opposition just once in their history. That came against Arsenal in 2001 in the group stages of the Champions League.
Juan Roman Rocha's side have lost both of their away games in the Europa League this season, without scoring in either.
Spanish striker Toche is Oi Prasinoi's leading scorer in the Europe this season with two goals, one of which was against Tottenham in the team's first encounter.
The previous group game between the two teams, which finished 1-1, was their first ever meeting in a competitive game.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 2-0 Panathinaikos
- 20.52 %
Tottenham 3-0 Panathinaikos
- 14.86 %
Tottenham 3-1 Panathinaikos
- 13.21 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Dec 7, 2012||Tottenham 3 - Panathinaikos 1|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Oct 5, 2012||Panathinaikos 1 - Tottenham 1|
|Dec 8, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Dec 5, 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Dec 1, 2013||Tottenham 2 - Manchester United 2||EPL|
|Nov 29, 2013||Tromsø IL 0 - Tottenham 2||EL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Manchester City 6 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|-||Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé||Midfielder|
|-||Pape Habib Sow||Midfielder|
|44||José Manuel Velázquez||Defender|