Shamrock Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur: Preview, Team News & Predicted Score

By on December 15, 2011

So here we are, at the last match in the laborious group stage of the Europa League. A competition that is supposed to be the second best European competition to win but in my opinion is just plain second rate as shown by the fact that not that many teams are interested in playing in it. It’s certainly no Cup Winners Cup!

It’s had positives for Spurs as we have been able to play our youngsters and squad players and also given first teamers the opportunity to get some much needed match time when coming back from injury. Right from the start it has been blatantly obvious that it hasn’t been a priority for Tottenham and for Harry more of a hindrance rather than an opportunity for success. Yes, we could have probably gone deep into the tournament if we put the majority of our first team out but to what cost? All Spurs fans know the target this year and because of the nature of football these days we need the financial rewards and stature of getting back into the Champions League.

On to the game itself and without there being some unlikely events from our game and the other game going on in the group this will be our last in Europe this season (just to clarify we need a 6-0 victory whist needing PAOK to beat Rubin Kazan to progress). What better way to finish though with a game in the capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin? Brilliant for the fans that make the trip and I am sure a good time will be had by all whilst enjoying the delights of the city.

The game is still being played at Shamrock’s home ground, the Tallaght Stadium, rather then moved to a bigger one and they haven’t actually played a game since their last Europa League game over 2 weeks ago as they have finished their domestic league campaign. They are the Airtricity League Champions for 2011 but apart from that and that they are an honest bunch of players that have done themselves proud during the competition I really don’t know much else about them. They did have Spurs on the run a bit in the reverse game at White Hart Lane and took the lead until they finally succumbed to a 3-1 defeat. Oh, they have Rohan Ricketts in their ranks as well!

After our rather dubious defeat on Sunday at Stoke (cheers Chris Foy!), Harry has confirmed the likes of Kranjcar, Defoe, Kaboul, Ekotto, Sandro, Pienaar, Dos Santos and Rose will all feature, so it’s a stronger than expected team. Although there will still be a few youngsters in there as well. A lot of the youngsters will be playing their last game for us in the first team this season as I expect many will be shipped out on loan to Championship or League One clubs to gain further experience when the transfer window opens in January. They would have gained some fantastic experience during the European campaign and quite a few have proved they have the talent to progress further at the club in the future. It will be interesting to see how they develop over the coming years.

Prediction

I expect our Europa League campaign to end with a win in Dublin, probably by 2 or 3 goals but not many will remember the game or even care what happens in it. Rovers will give it a good go as they always do, especially as this is their glamour tie and I am sure the fans will be in good voice. Roll on Sunday and the start of another 11 game unbeaten run!

Thanks to THFC1882.com for submitting this guest post

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One Comment

  1. DangerousDave

    December 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Correction. A 5 goal advantage will be sufficient to progress. Rubin need to loose in any case which means their current plus 6 goal difference will be reduced by (at least) one.

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