Tottenham vs Panathinaikos Preview Dec. 6

by Punter's Hero on December 6, 2012

in Football, Latest News

The second and third place teams in Group J of the Europa League get together on Thursday December 6 at White Hart Lane in London, England when Tottenham Hotspur hosts Greek club Panathinaikos. Spurs can advance into the next round o the competition as long as they don’t lose the match. Lazio of Italy tops the group with nine points from five games while Spurs has five points from one win and four draws while Panathinaikos has five points from a win, two draws and two losses and NK Maribor sits in the group basement with four points.

In their last five matches overall, Spurs has managed three wins, a draw and a loss while Panathinaikos also has three wins, a draw and a loss. The first time these two teams met earlier in the competition it ended up in a 1-1 draw in Greece. Look for Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas to go with American veteran Brad Friedel in goal as he’s been rotating his keepers and French international Hugo Lloris played in the last European game.

Spurs will be missing some key players still due to injury as England international midfielder Scott Parker isn’t ready to return to the squad yet from his Achilles problem. Defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto is also sidelined, but they could both be back within the next 10 days. Parker hasn’t played a game yet this season. In addition, it looks like Welsh international winger Gareth Bale will be out for about two weeks with a hamstring injury. He suffered it in Spurs last game, which was a 3-0 away win over Fulham in a London derby on the weekend.

Panathinaikos hasn’t been playing too well in their domestic league as they sit 16 points behind league-leading Olympiacos. However, they’ve only been beaten twice in the last month since the last time they faced Tottenham. The club’s fortunes have certainly picked up since former manager Jesualdo Ferreira was sacked and replaced by Juan Ramon Rocha of Argentina. Rocha said he’s a big Spurs fan since two of his fellow countrymen, Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa, used to play for the club.

Rocha knows that his team has to win the game if they want to advance to the next stage of the Europa League and has no choice but to attack from the kick off. He’ll have to be aware of Spurs counter attack. He said Chelsea might have won the Champions League last year by playing a defensive style of football, but his side definitely won’t be playing this way at White Hart Lane. He said he wants his players to be creative and innovative. However, he’ll be without forward Quincy Owusu-Abeyie as he has a hamstring problem.

With Rocha promising attacking football this should be a good game to watch with numerous scoring chances. Spurs should be able to make sure they don’t lose it and will advance to the next stage.

Sportsbook Bet365 has the latest odds on the match at 3/10 for a Tottenham win and 10/1 for a Panathinaikos victory with a draw at 4/1.

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