OPPONENTS Asteras Tripolis (Greece)
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Thursday 6th November 2014
VENUE Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium






We know from the home group match against Asteras, that they are capable of scoring ... albeit against Harry Kane in goal, but they were in good scoring positions in the early stages of the game and could have caused some discomfort if they had their shooting boots on. 
This must be borne in mind when Spurs approach this match, as a win would virtually guarantee a passage through to the knock-out stages, with maybe just another two points from the final two games enough to help Tottenham progress.

With a win over Aston Villa, Spurs will have been boosted by the result, if not the performance.  However, the way they played against Asteras in the first game indicates that they could run out winners again, with the full team firing on all cylinders.  Asteras will be a different proposition at home and with a partisan crowd behind them, Spurs will need to silence them and then turn the tables by getting them to turn on their own team.

There are some good player sin the Greek team, but Spurs should have enough to over come them again and they will need to show some urgency in their play, otherwise they might get caught cold by the home side, who have nothing to lose.  The difference in Tottenham's game on Sunday when they played like that was noticeable.

Changes within the side will mean another set of team-mates for the players to become accustomed to, but this shoul,d nt be beyond them, so I predict a win to follow on from Sunday's success.

PREDICTION Asteras Tripolis    1         Tottenham Hotspur    3
Spurs will be without Hugo Lloris (suspended), Kyle Walker (hip) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle), while Younes Kaboul, Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Naughton are rested.

ITV 4 - 18:00 (live)

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Asteras Tripolis  1 (0)                                                                 Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2)
Europa League  Group C
Thursday 6th November 2014                                                                                         Kick off 18:00 (UK time)
Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium
Jeronimo (p)  90m 21s
Townsend (p)  36m 16s
Kane  42m 32s
Sankare (foul on Townsend)  36 


Mason (Fazio foul on Gianniotas)  85

Fazio (foul on Jeronimo) 89

Crowd :   , Weather :  Warm
Referee :  Javier Estrada (SPA) Assistant Referees :  José Miranda; Javier Rodriguez (SPA)
Fourth Official :  Angel Nevado Rodriguez (SPA) Additional Assistants :  Fernando Teixeira; Eduardo Prieto Iglesias (SPA)
UEFA Referee observer :  Miroslav Liba (CZE)
Asteras kicked off in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Asteras Tripolis : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Tomas KOSICKY

  3  Thanasis PANTELIADIS
15  Khalifa SANKARE     
27  Braian LLUY

  5  Juan MUNAFO  (70  Giannis GIANNIOTAS  81)
10  Martin ROLLE
8  Fernando USERO (c)
19  Tasos TSOKANIS (39  Ziguy BADIBANGA 60)

  7  Pabli MAZZA
23  Facundo PARRA  (  9  Jeronimo BARRALES 84  )

Unused subs:

  13  Michel VORM

15  Eric DIER
21  Federico FAZIO     
  5  Jan VERTONGHEN (c)
33  Ben DAVIES

19  Mousa DEMBELE
25  Benjamin STAMBOULI

17  Andros TOWNSEND 
23  Christian ERIKSEN  (38  Ryan MASON  63)
11  Erik LAMELA  (  9  Roberto SOLDADO 46)

18  Harry KANE    (  8  PAULINHO 77)

Unused subs: 
48  Luke McGEE
Danny ROSE
22  Nacer CHADLI

Manager :  Staikos Vergetis Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   ΛOTTO Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

As ever for Europa League matches, Mauricio rung the changes and did so again during the game, but the Spurs team were good enough to withstand a late charge by Asteras and survive the sending off of Federico Fazio to win 2-1 and stay join top, putting some daylight between them and our Greek opponents in third place.

A warm evening saw Michel Vorm make a rare appearance in place of the suspended Hugo Lloris, while Harry Kane took his place in attack, when many fans may have preferred him to be leading the line on Sunday against Stoke City.  With a number of players remaining in England it was not a surprise that it was a mix and  match side again, lead by Jan Vertonghen.

The side were lazily stroking the ball about, sometimes getting caught on or knocked off the ball easily. There were few shooting chances for Spurs, as they tried to thread their way through the Greek defence. It was 21 minutes before a shot on target came for Tottenham, with Lamela striking it well from 25 yards, but straight into the midriff of the keeper. Either side of that, Vertonghen and Lamela fired shots high into the netting behind the Asteras goal.

By that time, Asteras had almost opened the Spurs back four up with a right to left diagonal ball over Dier’s head to release Parra on goal, but Eric got back to knock the ball out for a corner from which the Greek defender Zisopoulis won a header, but it was well off target. With 25 minutes gone, a free-kick was played high into the far post with four Asteras players attacking it and Vorm came for the punch, but didn’t get there. Luckily, the header by Zisopoulis was wide and he was offside anyway, but it was a worrying moment. A few minutes later a move down the home team’s right saw Massa screw a shot across the face of goal, with no Asteras shirt there to put it away.

Ten minutes before half time, Townsend swapped wings to go on the left and he beat one man before cutting back inside, leaving Sankare’s challenge taking both the wingers legs’ from underneath him. The ref pointed to the spot and Townsend was quick to do a Kane and grab the ball to claim the spot-kick before anyone else could. Andros put the ball down and struck a left foot shot past the keeper’s left hand as he dived the right way, but not quick enough.

Tottenham had got their full backs wide and in advanced positions, but there was rarely the space or accuracy to cross the ball to a Spurs man and it was a fairly easy task for Asteras to defend. Four minutes before the break that all changed. Andros got down the left wing and lifted a ball into the middle of the six yard box, where Kane rose above Zisopoulis to head down past Kosicky and into the net for 2-0.

A last minute chance before the half time whistle saw Eric Dier released down the right in acres of space and he slid in a low ball across the face of the goal and Harry Kane was there to surely tap the ball into the net for a three goal lead. Unfortunately, just a couple of feet out, he got under the ball and shot it against the bar (doing a little bit better than Acimovic did a few years back against Fulham at home, when he cleared the goal from a similar position). Luckily for our new star he was offside and the whistle for the decision was also that for half-time.

A decent enough 45 minutes, if not an electrifying one, with the ball being moved slowly on a bumpy pitch that had not helped Tottenham’s shooting. When the full backs were in lots of space, the player on the ball tended to shoot, leaving frustrated team-mates.

Right at the start of the second half, Asteras should have pulled a goal back as Tsonakis went through and only had Vorm to beat from inside the area, but he stroked his shot wide of the left hand post from inside the other side of the box. Then Spurs allowed a long range shot, which went well wide. It was another sloppy start to a second half by Tottenham.

Eriksen had a shot that Kosicky flopped to save and then Vorm kicked a clearance straight against a striker closing him down. Asteras then had two chances through Parra, with the first coming when the Argentine nudged Vertonghen as he jumped for the ball and then cut inside Fazio to fire a shot inches wide. The second came when he was released and again cut in to fire a shot hard but high.

Soldado, who came on for Lamela at the break, had a shot blocked and Townsend’s low pull back found Kane, whose shot was half blocked and popped up comfortably for the keeper. Spurs almost played themselves into trouble when Davies played a short pass and Asteras got the ball wide to cross, but Fazio was there to head away. Usero went down as he tried to get between Vertonghen and Davies, but nothing was given. Straight after, Massa hit a shot from 18 yards to the left of centre only to see it unluckily rebound off the inside of Vorm’s left post and out.

Dembele had been quietly effective in the first half, but in the second, he faded out of the action and was shrugged off the ball too easily. Townsend had also gone off the boil, but a ball across the face of goal was just a little too far ahead of Soldado. Paulinho came on to give Kane a rest, allowing Soldado to go as the out and out striker. The slick surface didn’t help the Asteras players, who went sliding out of the game, as Tottenham’s players cut back inside them, but they could not make the space left by the opponent taken out of the game.

Jeronimo got seven minutes at the end of the match, but from a free-kick it was Zisopoulis whose ten yard rising shot was beaten out by Michel Vorm. In conceding the free-kick, substitute Ryan Mason got a yellow card for Fazio’s foul !!

Asteras’ sub, Badibanga looked like Regi Blinker (there’s one for the teenagers) and played like him too. Vorm was once more called into action as the Belgian Under-21 winger dragged a low cross from behind him and the keeper went full length to save at the foot of his left hand post at the second attempt.

With four minutes left, Jeronimo got away through the middle with Fazio chasing him. He caught the striker, but also caught him physically, leaving a penalty for Asteras and a red card for the defender, being his second this season. Jeronimo took the kick himself and slammed it down the middle, with Vorm almost getting something on it as he dived one way and left his legs behind to try and block anything close to them.

Badibanga put a header wide from twelve yards out and Spurs had to weather four extra minutes. When Soldado was freed by a Spurs clearance, he chose to have a strike at goal rather than run it into the corner, with the ball being deflected out for a corner. After the corner was taken, the full time whistle went and Spurs had survived a late scare (after the early second half scare) and have eight points alongside Besiktas at the top of the group. The Turkish side remain top on alphabetical order and Partizan are bottom and come to the Lane looking to salvage some pride.

Once more, Tottenham will need to exhibit some more clinical instincts to see them off to complete qualification to the knock out stage.

Watching on TV, Clark Carlisle’s commentary was definitely League Two. He said “Spurs have an aerial ...” followed by a pause of about twenty seconds while he struggled to make a word out of nine letters presented to him a la Countdown. Then he obviously hadn’t been presented with enough letters when he said Vertonghen had a “speculate” shot.  He doesn't even speak well English.
Please ITV 4, I know it might be hard to recruit Premier League level co-commentators, but there must be more insightful ones than this “brightest man in football”.

How he has the cheek to comment on Tottenham’s failings, I fail to see.

What would Nick Hewer say ??

Stanford Rivers



Asteras Tripolis were named after the three star police force the town provided around the time the club were formed.

The tunnel at Asteras' ground has a sign replicating Liverpool's which states "This is the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium" in Greek.  Even so, it must work, as they are yet to lose a home game in three seasons in Europe.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this round :
Group A
Apollon Limassol (CYP) 0 Borussia Moenchengladbach (GER) 2 Thursday
FC Zurich (SWI) 3 Villarreal (SPA) 2 Thursday
Group B
HJK Helsinki (ICE) 2 Torino (ITA) 1 Thursday
FC Kobenhavn (DEN) 0 Club Brugge (BEL) 4 Thursday
Group C
Besiktas (TUR) 2 Partizan Belgrade (SER) 1 Thursday
Group D
Astra (ROM) 1 Glasgow Celtic 1 Thursday
Dinamo Belgrade (SER) 1 Red Bull Salzburg (AUS) 5 Thursday
Group E
Panathinaikos (GRE) 2 PSV Eindhoven (HOL) 3 Thursday
Dinamo Moscow (RUS) 1 Estoril (POR) 0 Thursday
Group F
Qarabag (AZE) 1 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (UKR) 2 Thursday
St. Etienne (FRA) 1 Internazionale (ITA) 1 Thursday
Group G
Feyenoord (HOL) 2 HNK Rijeka (CRO) 0 Thursday
Standard Liege (BEL) 3 Sevilla (SPA) 1 Thursday
Group H
Everton 3 Lille (FRA) 0 Thursday
Wolfsburg (GER) 5 Krasnodar (RUS) 1 Thursday
Group I
Napoli (ITA) 3 Young Boys Bern (SWI) 0 Thursday
Sparta Prague (CZE) 4 Slovan Bratislava (SLK) 0 Thursday
Group J
Dinamo Kiev (UKR) 2 Aalborg (DEN) 0 Thursday
Rio Ave (POR) 2 Steaua Bucaresti (ROM) 2 Thursday
Group K
Fiorentina (ITA) 1 PAOK (GRE) 1 Thursday
Guingamp (FRA) 2 Dinamo Minsk (BLR) 0 Thursday
Group L
Lokeren (BEL) 1 Trabsonspor (TUR) 1 Thursday
Legia Warsaw (POL) 2 Metalist Kharkiv (UKR) 1 Thursday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Besiktas 4 2 2 0 8 3 8 +5
2 Tottenham Hotspur 4 2 2 0 8 3 8 +5
3 Asteras Tripolis 4 1 1 2 6 8 4 -2
4 Partizan Belgrade 4 0 1 3 2 10 1 -8


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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