Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Could Wembley hoodoo trip up Tottenham in Europa League clash with Gent?

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, UEFA Europa League 23 Feb 2017

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino needs to find solutions to his teams current poor run of form away from White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur host KAA Gent at Wembley Stadium in the second leg of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 clash, needing to win by two clear goals after suffering a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture.

Spurs are being backed to get the result in the home leg, but given their woeful form at Wembley down the years and this season, could they be eliminated from the European competition by Gent?

Spurs yet to make Wembley their home

The new Wembley Stadium was built in 2007 and Tottenham have had losing memories at the ground ever since, suffering six defeats from their seven competitive games.

Tottenham’s form at new Wembley
1/3/09 (League Cup final) Man Utd 0-0 (lost on pens) Tottenham
11/4/10 (FA Cup semi-final) Tottenham 0-2 aet Portsmouth
15/4/12 (FA Cup semi-final) Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea
1/3/15 (League Cup final) Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham
14/9/16 (Champions League) Tottenham 1-2 AS Monaco
2/11/16 (Champions League) Tottenham 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
7/12/16 (Champions League) Tottenham 3-1 CSKA Moscow

Tottenham haven’t been in the best form ahead of Thursday’s meeting with KAA Gent either, failing to win four of their last five games away from White Hart Lane, while amassing a paltry three wins on their travels from their home ground since September. Their relationship with Wembley Stadium has been one of disappointment.

What’s worse is that Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be using the stadium for their home games in the Premier League while their new stadium is being constructed so they need to change the mentality around the ground sooner rather than later. Their hoodoo at Wembley cost them a place in the Champions League knockouts this season and could see them bowing out of the last-32 of the Europa League too.

Defensively resilient Gent will be hard to break down

As for the opposition, KAA Gent aren’t to be underestimated. They’ve already beaten Tottenham Hotspur in their own backyard without conceding a goal, and may adopt more pragmatism to keep the Londoners quiet on Thursday. Gent have kept four clean sheets in all competitions since mid-January, conceding only three times in the previous six weeks.

Gent have conceded more than one goal in just two away games in all competitions since October so they will be a tough side to break down this week. They will progress to the last-16 of the Europa League if they can keep a clean sheet, but an away goal also means Spurs would have to win by a two-goal margin. Tottenham are 1/2 to qualify for the Europa League last-16, but can they overcome their Wembley hoodoo?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crippy Cooke


Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.

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