Lazio vs. Spurs match preview: Tottenham will have to earn their spurs in lively Lazio
Tottenham commence their Europa League campaign tonight with a tricky home game against Italian powerhouse, Lazio.
The game will be made more difficult because of some of the key injuries in Tottenham’s squad, namely: Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Emmanuel Adebayor who, though having been used sparingly as of late, has massive European experience from his Arsenal days.
Much of the pre-game talk has been about Tottenham’s main investment in the transfer window, Hugo Lloris, who is touted to make his debut in front of his home fans tonight.
A mini-feud appears to be bubbling between him and Brad Friedel, who seems displeased that manager Andre Villas Boas felt the need to buy another goalkeeper in the market.
But the Portuguese manager will not mind this so long as things remain professional, as he tries to instil a competition for places into his new squad.
He will no doubt be buoyed by his first victory at the weekend with a 3-1 victory away at Reading, but sought to clarify the importance of the Europa League to him.
“Rotation will come further down the line. At the moment the players aren’t tired so I think it’s important to keep them playing to continue this series of good performances. For now the players who are playing well will continue.”
This brings about a sweeping change from the Harry Redknapp era where under-strength teams were the flavour of the month, and the Europa League was swept to the side as Redknapp chased Champion’s League football via the Premier League.
Villas Boas cannot and will not be taking this Lazio team, with Miroslav Klose as its spearhead, a world-class striker supported by the talents of Ederson, Mauri and Zarate around him.
They have made a 100% start in Serie A, scoring nine goals and only conceding two, seeing them joint at the top of the table with Juventus and Napoli.
It is sure to be an entertaining watch with plenty of attacking flair on show, but at home Tottenham are tough to break down and should manage to take the three points.
Adam Appleton, assistant sports editor