November 8, 2012
Duo poised to feature for Spurs
Team Stat Comparison
|Tottenham Hotspur||NK Maribor|
|Goals for *||2.0||0.3|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.7|
|Last 5 home||D-W-W-W-W||L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||D-L-D-D-D||L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Tottenham Hotspur | NK Maribor|
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is likely to play Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore in midfield for Thirsday's Europa League match against Maribor, providing the latter overcomes an ankle injury.
The Portuguese made winning the Europa League one of his priorities when he joined Spurs this summer, but his team have registered three disappointing draws so far against Lazio, Panathinaikos and Maribor.
With an away game in Rome next up, Villas-Boas has no doubt about the importance of the clash against the Slovenian champions.
"Even though a defeat doesn't mathematically disqualify us, it is a game we have to win,'' he said.
"We are in this competition to win it.''
Another man who is likely to begin the game is striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
Adebayor has not started a match for the club since he signed from Manchester City this summer, with Villas-Boas preferring to use Jermain Defoe as the team's target man.
Adebayor's lack of game time has led to suggestions the striker wants to leave the club, but Villas-Boas has played down those claims.
"Certainly there is no interest in selling or loaning (Adebayor),'' the Tottenham manager said.
"We brought him in this season, unfortunately for him it hasn't been working out in terms of injuries.
"We have full belief in Adebayor, he is one of the greatest strikers in the world. Sooner or later he is going to be back in the squad.''
Maribor were perceived as the weakest team in Group J, but they beat Panathinaikos 3-0 in their opening group game and then held Lazio for an hour before falling to the Italian giants on matchday two.
The minnows then led Spurs for 58 minutes in Slovenia last month before Gylfi Sigurdsson rescued the Londoners with an equaliser.
The Balkan side, who are second in the standings - one point ahead of Spurs, are not afraid of taking on a team of expensively-assembled millionaires, captain Tavares insisted this evening.
"I am not scared,'' the Brazilian said.
"It doesn't matter whether we are playing in Slovenia or in London, it's the same.
"Tottenham are a big team. They have big players but we cannot just admire them.
"We played very well last time, we got a draw against them and played very well.
"We want to get a draw again this time or do even better than we did before and we are capable of doing that. We are doing very well and we will try to win the game.''