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UEFA Europa League Preview: Anzhi Makhachkala v. Tottenham Hotspur

Anzhi Makhachkala will host Tottenham Hotspur on Matchday 2 in the UEFA Europa League group stage on Thursday night.

Anzhi Makhachkala will host Tottenham Hotspur on Matchday 2 in the UEFA Europa League group stage on Thursday night.

The cash-strapped Russian Premier League side, who have yet to win a competitive match this term, sold off nearly their entire squad during the summer transfer window.

Notable summer exits from the Anzhi-Arena included the likes of Aleksandr Kokorin, Christopher Samba, João Carlos, Mbark Boussoufa, Samuel Eto’o, Willian and Yuri Zhirkov.

In contrast, Tottenham managed to strengthen their squad in the summer despite losing star man Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.

Spurs’ transfer spending spree was primarily funded by the sale of Bale, which enabled the club to complete the signings of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Étienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Vlad Chiricheș.

All seven signings have done well for the North Londoners this term, but Denmark ace Christian Eriksen could be the steal of the lot after joining the club for a reported fee of £11 million.

Team News

Cote d’Ivoire international striker Lacina Traore will miss Thursday’s clash due to injury. Nikita Burmistrov and Pavel Solomatin have been tipped to start for the hosts.

For Spurs, Brad Friedel and Jermain Defoe are expected to be recalled, with Hugo Lloris and Roberto Soldado on the bench ahead of Spurs’ Premier League fixture against West Ham United on Saturday.

Defenders Vlad Chiriches and Zeki Fryers did well enough against Aston Villa in Round 3 of the Capital One Cup to warrant their selection against the Dagestanskiye.

Possible Starting Lineups

Anzhi Makhachkala: Kerzhakov; Angbwa, Ewerton, Tagirbekov, Adeleye; Agalarov, Akhmedov, Sobolev, Jucilei; Burmistrov, Solomatin

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel; Naughton, Kaboul, Chiriches, Fryers; Holtby, Sandro, Paulinho; Kane, Defoe, Lamela

Match Facts

Anzhi exchanged 1-0 home victories with Liverpool in the Europa League last season before being eliminated by Newcastle United in the Round of 16. In turn, the club’s overall record against English opposition is 1-1-2.

Anzhi have failed to score in their last three European matches.

On the other side of the touchline, Andre Villas-Boas’ side have conceded just two goals (against Arsenal and Chelsea) in 10 matches in all competitions in 2013/14, and have kept three consecutive clean sheets in this competition.

Thus, Spurs are 13/10 to win to nil on Thursday night.

Player to Watch: Jermain Defoe

Defoe, who has already bagged four goals in two appearances in the Europa League this season, is 4/1 to score two or more goals.

Betting Odds

Anzhi Makhachkala (6/1); Tottenham Hotspur (1/2); Draw (7/2)

Match Prediction

Anzhi 0 – Spurs 2 (6/1)

Wed 2 October, 2013
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