Date: 25th September 2017 at 6:14pm
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We’re playing for Second? It’s between us and Dortmund…!

No Moussa? Again! Without Dembele we have a new system, effectively a 3-6-1 with wing-backs either side of a diamond midfield. You have to ask if these long terms injuries are now going to start affecting us. They are certainly reducing our options in key positions like left back where, if Davies was to get injured, we would have to play players out of position. Moussa’s continual injury niggle is robbing us of a very important player at key times. Poch has found a role for Sissoko at last, playing alongside Christian Eriksen in the middle, making the most of his strength on the ball. Some say it is almost a new-look Spurs. But! Who put Sissoko on the goal line to mark an attacker on Saturday? Who ever thought that Sissoko marking Hernandez on the goal line on Saturday was a good idea needs their head examined? That goal let the Hammers get back into the game! As for Aurier’s sending off I assume he may reign it in a bit from now on!

Our new ‘Diamond’ will be missing one of its Jewels, namely Dele, and one of our other jewels, Verts, who is also suspended. So! Could Foyth play in a back 3 or will Poch go for four at the back with Trippier and Davies or will Aurier play because he can’t play on Saturday against Huddersfield.
Interestingly all 3 Right Backs Trippier, Aurier and KWP were on the plane, no sign of Foyth though!

There are few players in APOEL’s team which we as fans have not heard of but some of the Spurs players do. Dutch striker Lorenzo Ebecilio was at Ajax between 2010 and 2013, playing alongside Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. He’s injured anyway! Domestically APOEL are not having a good season they are currently in 10th place in their 14-team league after three rounds of the season. APOEL come into our game with just one win in their last six matches. That included 3 defeats and 2 draws. APOEL’s first CL game was against REAL and whilst you would have thought they were going to be slaughtered they came away with just a 3-0 defeat. No doubt APOEL will have seen that two banks of four and ten men behind the ball is standard against us but they will also have seen what we did to Dortmund if they press too high! 3 points from this one, 3 points against them back at Wembley and it’s all down to whether we can get a draw in Germany to nick 2nd place working on the pessimistic view that we won’t be taking any points off REAL in either leg!

We don’t get many trips to Cyprus but when we do we travel well. Spurs have been to Cyprus twice before in Europe; in October 2007, we played Anorthosis Famagusta away in a UEFA Cup game and drew 1-1, having comfortably won the 1st Round first leg game 6-1 at White Hart Lane. Martin Jol was in charge then and got fired in the next game! 3 seasons ago we played AEL Limmasol in the first round of a Europa League play-off game and we won 2-1 with goals by Bobby Soldado and Harry. That was Harry’s first European club goal.

Will APOEL be a push over? Not necessarily they have a good home record in Europe, apart from a defeat by Anderlecht in last season’s Europa League that was their only home defeat in 11 games, with nine wins. Not sure how many travelling Spurs fans there will be but their stadium in Nicosia only holds just under 23,000 so it should be a good atmosphere. APOEL have reached the quarter finals before in the CL, in 2012, but then they met REAL and that was the end of that! Some of APOEL’s squad play for their country. Their Portuguese defender Nuno Miguel Morais was on Chelsea’s books 13 years ago and did have some starts. To give you an idea of their standard of players Andreas Makris was a summer signing from Walsall! To say we have to come away with all 3 points is an understatement as we face REAL next month and I doubt if anyone realistically believes we will get a result in Madrid. As Son did not get a start against West Ham, and Dele Alli can`t play anyway, we should expect maybe a four at the back to allow Son to play further up the pitch with Dier, Sissoko, Eriksen and Kane making the spine of the midfield with Winks coming on to protect the back four if we are winning and possibly GKN to come on if we need to turn the game around.


72 Replies to “VS Preview: APOEL v Spurs”

  • Yep this is a must win game. Without Eriksen, Alli, Verts, Dembele and Wanyama we have to play a few squad players. They have to start fast and score fast to make Apoel open the game. Can’t let them play defense as we are not the best at breaking that down. COYS 0-4 !!

  • Yes, we do need a win because anything less would be a bit like Luxemburg beating Belgium! I don’t agree that we’ll get nothing against Real though. They’re not unbeatable and I’m optimistic we can at least get 3 points from the 2 games.

  • Any Spurs Xl should be too strong for such limited opposition. It is true we are playing for second behind Real Madrid, in competition with Dortmund, that’s why the Wembley win against them was immense. Of course we can’t afford any slip against Apoel.

  • As far as the CL goes this is a ‘must win’ game. Two wins against Apoel, and something against Madrid should see us through. We are capable of getting something from Dortmund away and from Madrid …. difficult but not impossible tasks. Be nice if Dortmund took something from Madrid tonight! For this game …. Apoel 0-3 Spurs (hopefully more). GD could play a part in the end.

  • Geof not sure if a draw between BD and RM is a favourable result for us. Prefer BD to lose by a narrow margin and we win at Apoel. That opens a 6 point lead for us over BD and gives us the confidence to get something against RM in a few weeks.

  • We need to win this game.. no questions…. then hope RM beat B Dortmund, This gives us 6 points over the germans, and a higher level of confidence playing G Bale & co. Its time for our squad players to show that they are adequate cover for the 1st team players. So as there are a number of injuries, its gives squad players important game minutes and confidence. Poch also has to improve his game decisions on selection and placement of players / subs. I.e. not son as defensive player or LB !! COYS

  • This is the exactly the sort of game we have taken lightly in previous European campaigns and failed to perform. I hope Poch dispels any notion of ‘limited opposition’, ignores the league they play in and their position in that league, and treats this game as though it were Dortmund. Losing Eriksen on top of Dele, Wanyama, Vertonghen and Dembele is a big blow. I’ll be happy with any type of win. Agree with JVD – I think its better for our chances of qualifying if RM beat Dortmund.

  • You have to play with what you’ve got, that is the test for the manager. I’d rather have players missing against Apoel than Madrid. At the end of the day if we don’t win this we will probably not qualify as I can’t see Madrid or Dortmund dropping points against the Cypriots. Even winning we probably still need a win at home against Madrid (I expect to lose at their place) and a draw against Dortmund away. We always knew qualifying from this group wasn’t going to be easy.

  • Exactly Jvd, we need Real to beat Dortmund, yes its a must win game, which puts alot more pressure on this game, think it will be a tough game, especially in the first half.

  • With the players we have missing I have to agree with Gary …. any kind of win will do. But you have to think our squad is strong enough. We’ll soon know.

  • Parklaneyido – “we do need a win because anything less would be a bit like Luxemburg beating Belgium!” Easy there! It was France that Luxembourg beat! Belgium are comfortably top of their group after beating Greece in Athens! Despite all the absences, we still have enough quality to win this game. I will be hoping for a Madrid win too. I reckon that if we can get 1 point from the 2 games against Madrid and 6 points from the 2 APOEL games, that should be enough to qualify.

  • Calm down Belgian. I know it was France they beat! I was merely making an analogy to the difference in class. I am Belgian (and British) myself. Regarding the group it’s probably to early to guess what’s best in terms of other results. Dortmund could end up finishing above RM and so could we!

  • I just never want to pass an opportunity to shame France, that’s all! Just some good old neighbourly banter. With regards to the group, I will always favour a scenario where 2 teams go clear immediately. Having a scenario where Madrid and Dortmund draw would indeed put us in first place if we win, but it would also give Dortmund confidence and give them a platform to play their way back into contention. I’m not saying this because I expect Madrid to win, I’m just saying this because Madrid won their first game. I just think that having us and another team on 6 points with the 2 others on 0 is more beneficial to us, whoever those teams may be. In this case though, it’s Madrid I have to back for this scenario to materialise.

  • When did Luxembourg beat France? I know they drew 0-0 recently but can’t remember them beating France. This game will be tough Spurs should nick it 0-1 or 0-2 but it is no forgone conclusion. Remember Ghent and Anderlacht, beat spurs at home so spurs should not under estimate the Cypriots.

  • palmover- It’s funny because I was having that exact conversation with a Belgian mate, who was quick to point out the result against Gent too. I’d like to think that the result against Gent was more due to the fact that we didn’t take the EL seriously. I am hoping that the CL will generate far more interest from the players, and if the Dortmund game is anything to go by, it seems like that’s the case. We can never be sure of anything, but we should be winning this game comfortably. If we can’t beat the likes of APOEL convincingly, we have no business being in the CL in the first place.

  • Good to see you are still around Belgian. For a minute I thought you’d done a DA, awol!

    TBH, I am not too concerned about RM at this moment in time as imo, they are not the force of last season, but no doubt they will raise their game when it comes to CL. They’ve made a stuttering start to their La Liga campaign. Wouldn’t surprise me if they go through a transition with ageing and replacement players. We can but focus on each game as it comes and hope the lads hit the ground running tonight and not an arrogant slow sideways backwards tippy tappy. Sure, no game is a gimme, but the 1st 20 mins attitude in some of our games needs to be addressed. I’ll go along with Geof’s scoreline for this one. COYS!

  • For me anything less than a win would be dreadful. It would give Dortmund confidence and give us a struggle. I prefer RM to beat Dortmund in a way because if they get anything from that game it will breed confidence into their remaining games and it will make RM work even harder against us to right it for them, plus a six point gap is better, put Dortmund under pressure.

    I am not thinking about RM yet, although it losely floats around with the idea we are unlikely to rely on picking up any points from them, but on the other hand we are capable of causing a shock and capable of beating them or at least getting a draw, but we cannot rely upon that, we have to take three points tonight and aim at getting another three points at wembley against tonights opposition and points against Dortmund in the away match.

    Article is outdated, Eriksen not available, and I believe Foyth has travelled! Not sure about formation, but I would expect Trippier to started this until Aurier got sent off, so he may have played himself in the starting line up to keep Trippier for Saturday. Secondly, what about keeping to a back three and either play Foyth or Davies if Sanchez has travelled and use KWP as LWB, Davies plays for Wales as a third CB.

    I epxect Son to start but may be we will see a Kane and Llorente partnership, with Kane behind Llorente and Son one side and GK the other? Ideally Dier needs a rest but unlikely to get it due to Demeble being out, as I am not sure Poch will risk too much inexperienc in the middle with just Winks and a youngster, so I expect Dier and Winks in there.

    I would probably go for four at the back, cannot see why we need three, expect them to defend, so may be Aurier/Trippier with Toby and Sanchez/Foyth and Davies/KWP hard to choose. Then Dier and Winks, Son, GK, Llorente and Kane and Lloris. So 4 2 3 1

  • Here’s hoping our first team fare a lot better that our U19’s who lost to Apoel’s U19’s 1-0 a short time ago.. can’t take these teams lightly. Got to be serious and get up to speed quickly. COYS!!!!

  • Strange team selection with so many defenders. I did say may be Davies would play as a three at back but not sure now with both Trippier and Auruer playing as well. So who is playing left at the back? Davies, Trippier or Aurier and I am guessing its 3 with two wing backs? Can Aurier play LWB because Trippier was woeful, and if Davies plays there then what is happening with both Trippier and Aurier? I am really hoping Poch hasn’t messed up again, because he has fallen short when it comes to crucial games with his unfathamable selection, Chelsea semi Son at LWB, I remember he has made things complicated a few times when its a crucial match, he seems to over complicate things and play players out of position, trying to be too clever, is it happening again tonight?.

    I would have thought if Sanchez is playing then we have enough to play four at back or a three if you play either Foyth or even Davies as a three without having to complicate things. Baffled.

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