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Europa League Preview: Tottenham - Panathinaikos


Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton
Lennon, Sandro, Huddlestone, Townsend
Vyntra, Seitaridis, Velasquez, Spiropolous
Christodoulopolous, Vitolo, Mavrias, Zeca

Andre Villas-Boas will be without long-term absentees Scott Parker (achilles), Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (both knee) as well as Gareth Bale (hamstring). Michael Dawson (hamstring) will also miss the game, while senior players such as William Gallas, Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey may be rested, allowing young players Andros Townsend and Kyle Naughton rare starts.

Visiting coach Juan Roman Rocha has a fully-fit squad from which to choose and Panathinaikos should be relatively similar from its victory over Panionios on Sunday.

Spanish striker Toche could be recalled to lead the line, with Ibrahim Sissoko playing just behind him. The team's experienced back line should be unchanged, with Giourkas Seitaridis partnering Jose Velazquez, though Andre Pinto could also feature in defense.

  • Tottenham is unbeaten in five Europa League matches this season, winning once and drawing four times.

  • Jermain Defoe (pictured right) is Spurs' leading scorer in Europe this season with three goals. Only Michael Dawson and Gylfi Sigurdsson have also found the net in the competition for the north Londoners so far.

  • Tottenham can secure qualification to the next round of the competition with a draw. A win and a loss for Lazio against Maribor would see the club through as the Group J winner.

  • Panathinaikos has beaten English opposition just once in its history. That came against Arsenal in 2001 in the group stages of the Champions League.

  • Juan Roman Rocha's side has lost both of its away games in the Europa League this season, without scoring in either.

  • Spanish striker Toche is Oi Prasinoi's leading scorer in Europe this season with two goals, one of which was against Tottenham in the team's first encounter.

  • The previous group game between the two teams, which finished 1-1, was their first ever meeting in a competitive game.

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