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Tottenham - Lazio Preview: Villas-Boas hoping for more European glory at Spurs
The Portuguese manager is hoping for his second Europa League crown after succeeding with Porto, but should be wary of the Biancocelesti, who have started the season in fine form
By Tom J Doyle
Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton
Lennon, Dempsey, Bale
Scaloni, Biava, Dias, Cavanda
Ederson, Cana, Hernanes, Mauri
Andre Villas-Boas is likely to field a similar starting XI to that which beat Reading 3-1 on Sunday, although the Portuguese manager may well give starts to new signings, Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto has no scheduled return date on his knee injury, so Kyle Naughton should deputise once more at left-back.
Scott Parker is due back from his Achilles problem soon, but this tie should prove to be too early for him. In that case, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone will be competing for places in the centre. Younes Kaboul is definitely out with a long-term knee injury.
Emmanuel Adebayor had been expected to return but has now been ruled out, meaning Jermain Defoe is likely to keep his place up top.
Lazio manager Vladamir Petkovic should field a Lazio side similar to that which beat Chievo 3-1 on Sunday, with Hernanes the lynchpin in the centre.
Despite getting on in years, 34-year-old Miroslav Klose will most probably lead the line for the Italians, backed up by the attacking threats of Stefano Mauri, Ederson and Lorik Cana.
Emmanuel Ledesma will hold the defensive midfield position in an attempt to prevent Spurs from breaking through the centre.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Tottenham and Lazio have never met before in a European competition.
- Andre Villas-Boas has named just two strikers in his 25-man Europa League squad list - Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.
- Tottenham have played Italian clubs seven times, coming away with three wins, while Lazio have won just three from 12 against English competition.
- Tottenham have only won two of their last six European homes games, losing twice and drawing twice.
- Lazio have not won any of their last seven games against English teams.
- New Lazio boss Vladamir Petkovic is only the second manager in the club's history to have won his first three Serie A games.
- Petkovic has managed a side that has beaten Spurs before - he guided Young Boys to a 3-2 victory in the 2010-11 Champions League qualifying round, but lost the return leg 4-0.
- Former England star Paul Gascoigne (pictured right) played for both clubs during his career - the playmaker left the London club for the Italians in 1992, and has been invited as an official guest to the return fixture in Italy.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 1-2 Lazio
- 18.53 %
Tottenham 2-1 Lazio
- 13.75 %
Tottenham 0-2 Lazio
- 10.06 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Nov 22, 2012||Lazio 0 - Tottenham 0|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Sep 20, 2012||Tottenham 0 - Lazio 0|
|May 19, 2013||Tottenham 1 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|May 12, 2013||Stoke 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|May 8, 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|May 4, 2013||Tottenham 1 - Southampton 0||EPL|
|Apr 27, 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed