Europa League Preview: Maribor - Tottenham
New boss Andre Villas-Boas will want to bounce back from his side's Premier League defeat against former club Chelsea with a first win in this year's Europa League campaign.
By Ewan Roberts
Milec, Rajcevic, Arghus, Mejac
Cvijanovic, Filipovic, Mertelj, Ibraimi
Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen
Townsend, Sigurdsson, Bale
Darko Milanic has few injury concerns ahead of Maribor’s clash with Tottenham.
Jovan Vidovic was sent off - and conceded a penalty - against Lazio, so is suspended for the game, which is exacerbated by the likely absence of fellow defender Nejc Potokar who came off injured against Panathinaikos.
Arghus could return after being sent off in the Champions League play-off against Dinamo Zagreb.
Andre Villas-Boas is without long-term absentees Younes Kaboul (knee), Scott Parker (Achilles) and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee). A hip injury picked up on international duty with Belgium forced Mousa Dembele out of his side’s 4-2 loss to Chelsea and he remains sidelined.
Gareth Bale missed Saturday’s clash due to his partner going into labour, but could be given a run out against Maribor. Kyle Naughton was on the bench against the Blues and might be asked to start in place of Kyle Walker in Slovenia.
Hugo Lloris is expected to replace Brad Friedel, while Michael Dawson and Emmanuel Adebayor may start after sitting on the bench at the weekend.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Maribor has met an English side just once before, losing home (2-1) and away (1-0) to Championship side Birmingham City in last year’s Europa League group stages.
- The Purples are top of the Slovenian league after 14 games, winning 11 and losing just once with a goal difference of +22.
- Captain Marcos Tavares is joint second in the Europa League assists table, creating two goals for his team-mates.
- No Slovenian side has ever beaten an English club, losing every encounter barring NK Olimpija Ljubljana’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool in 2003-04.
- Tottenham has lost just one of its previous five European away games, a 1-0 defeat to Rubin Kazan last year, and has kept three clean sheets in those ties.
- Jermain Defoe (pictured, right) scored the winning goal in both of England’s matches against Slovenia.
- The north London side have only ever traveled to Slovenia once in the past, beating NK Rudar Velenje 2-1 in the Intertoto Cup in 1995.
- Spurs are three strikes shy of a landmark 200th goal in the UEFA Cup and/or Europa League.
Top 3 Predictions
NK Maribor 1-2 Tottenham
- 13.12 %
NK Maribor 0-3 Tottenham
- 12.64 %
NK Maribor 0-2 Tottenham
- 12.32 %
|Europa League (EL)||Nov 8, 2012||Tottenham 3 - NK Maribor 1|
|Europa League (EL)||Oct 25, 2012||NK Maribor 1 - Tottenham 1|
|Dec 6, 2012||NK Maribor 1 - Lazio 4||EL|
|Nov 22, 2012||Panathinaikos 1 - NK Maribor 0||EL|
|Nov 8, 2012||Tottenham 3 - NK Maribor 1||EL|
|Oct 25, 2012||NK Maribor 1 - Tottenham 1||EL|
|Oct 4, 2012||Lazio 1 - NK Maribor 0||EL|
|44||Arghus Soares Bordignon||Defender|
|9||Marcos Magno Morales Tavares||Striker|