Tottenham Hotspur only need a point to progress but a win could see them finish top of their Europa League group

Enfield Independent: Picture: Action Images Picture: Action Images

Team news

Tottenham will be without Gareth Bale for their Group J clash against Panathinaikos at White Hart Lane after the winger picked up a hamstring injury against Fulham.

Andre Villas-Boas will have to deal without Michael Dawson as well while Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker won't be ready for match action until next week.

Emmanuel Adebayor is available for selection with his ban only affecting domestic games and Brad Friedel is expected to start in goal instead of Hugo Lloris.

Panathinaikos are without any new injury setbacks and expect striker Toche to return to the starting line up. Ibrahim Sissoko also looks likely to start.

Possible scenarios

If Tottenham LOSE: Panathinaikos will go through as second and Tottenham will be out.

If Tottenham DRAW: they will qualify as second behind Lazio.

If Tottenham WIN: and Lazio beat Maribor, Tottenham will qualify as second behind Lazio.

If Tottenham WIN: and Lazio lose to Maribor, Spurs will qualify as group winners.

If Tottenham WIN by three goals or more: and Lazio and Maribor draw, Tottenham will win the group on goal difference.

If Tottenham WIN by less than three goals: and Lazio draw, Tottenham will finish second on goal difference.

Where it will be won and lost

Spurs only need a point to qualify but with Adebayor available and Jermain Defoe in a rich vein of form, Andre Villas-Boas may opt to throw both his strikers into the mix. 

The alternative would be to rest Defoe and introduce Gilfy Sigurdsson into the withdrawn forward role - assuming Clint Dempsey fills in for the injured Bale on the left.

Either way, Tottenham need to be positive and play like a home team going for the win. If they sit back looking for a point, the fans will quickly grow nervous and the players could end up holding on to a match they should win comfortably.

The longer Panathinaikos remain in the contest, the more likely they are to steal an unlikely win.

Prediction

Spurs are in good form and will be full of confidence. An early goal should settle the nerves and make way for a convincing victory.

Tottenham win, 3-0

 

 

 

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