Tottenham's in-form striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been rested for the Europea League tie against Dnipro. Reuters
The Europa League group stage was a breeze for Tottenham, winning all six of their matches, and comfortably finishing top of their group. The reward for their impressive group endeavours was a two-legged last-32 tie against Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 7 pm pm CET (11.30 pm IST) start with live coverage on Ten Action in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the US HERE, while Australia viewers can live stream the game HERE. Viewers in the UK can watch the action via live streaming HERE, while Latin America viewers can go HERE. The match can be live streamed in the Middle East and North Africa HERE, while South Africa viewers can catch the action HERE.
On paper, it looks like a comfortable enough fixture for Spurs to negotiate over two legs, but they will not only be up against a Dnipro side capable of an upset or two, but will also have to cope with a determined Juande Ramos determined to make a statement against his former team.
The Dnipro manager was fired unceremoniously by Tottenham in 2008, a few months after leading them to the League Cup title - their last major silverware -- and the Spaniard, no doubt, will have a score or two to settle and a point or two to prove come Thursday night.
"Only three or four players remain at Tottenham from my time," Ramos said. "It's nice to reflect on the League Cup we won, but a lot of time has passed since. I'm focused on other tasks now.
"Tottenham are a very strong team and it will be very interesting to test myself against them. Any player wants to play against such opposition. We are all really motivated and desperate to succeed."
Ramos has little doubt that Dnipro go into the tie as massive underdogs, with Spurs having an array of internationals at their disposal.
"Their budget is three or four times bigger than ours," Ramos added. "They paid around €30 million for Roberto Soldado in the summer and will have a very strong team regardless of who travels to Dnipropetrovsk."
Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has chosen to rest a few of his key players, with the in-form Emmanuel Adebayor left behind in London along with Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker and Hugo Lloris. Sandro, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches also remain sidelined, but Sherwood insisted Spurs have the squad capable of making up for the absences.
"We respect the tournament, we have come this far and we want to continue and progress in the competition," Sherwood said. "The players we have left at home are the players who are injured and would not be fit to play in the team. We hope they will be fit for Sunday [the Premier League fixture at Norwich].
"We will probably have a minimum of eight internationals in the team, six of which you will probably see at the World Cup. It is the only cup competition we are left in and we have enough players in our squad to compete in both competitions and that is what we intend to do.
"We have seen that down the years, a lot of managers have won this down the years and gone on to bigger and better things. It is the priority of the club to win both - the place in the Champions League and the Europa League.
"We believe that we have a big enough squad to do that. Anyone who will tell you that winning trophies doesn't look best on the CV would be lying to you."
Tottenham, if they are to progress into the last 16 of the Europa League, will be wary of the threat posed by winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, who was linked with a move to both Spurs and Liverpool in the January transfer window.
Having failed to make a switch to the English Premier League, the Ukraine international will be keen to show his potential suitors just what they missed out on. "Tottenham are a very strong team and it will be very interesting to test myself against them," Konoplyanka said. "Any player wants to play against such opposition. We are all really motivated and desperate to succeed."
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